Taking paracetamol during pregnancy ‘may raise the risk of a child developing – Πιθανόν επικίνδυνη για τις εγκύους η παρακεταμόλη

paracetamol during pregnancy

  • Paracetamol could increase the risk of hyperactivity disorders by a third
  • The risk is higher for women who take the painkiller for a long time
  • It can act as a hormone disruptor, interfering with brain development
  • About half of women take painkillers during pregnancy

Using paracetamol during pregnancy may raise the risk of children developing ADHD, warn researchers.

Around half of women take over-the-counter painkillers during pregnancy, usually for headaches.

Researchers found that taking paracetamol (know as acetaminophen in the U.S. and the main ingredient in Tylenol) increased the risk of hyperactivity disorders by up to a third.

The risk was higher in mothers taking the painkillers for long periods while pregnant.

The international team of researchers behind a new study warn that widespread use mean the results are important but need to be confirmed by further investigations.

Paracetamol, known as acetaminophen in some countries, may act as a hormone disruptor in the womb, interfering with normal brain development.

NHS advice to pregnant women needing short-term pain relief is to take paracetamol at the lowest dose for the shortest period of time.

NHS Choices states: ‘There is no clear evidence that it has any harmful effects on the unborn baby.’

But the new study suggests taking the over-the-counter pills in pregnancy could be linked to ADHD, which stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

ADHD is the term given to a collection of behavioural problems linked to poor attention span including impulsiveness, restlessness and hyperactivity.

An estimated 400,000 British children have ADHD, with many prescribed drugs to try and improve their concentration at school.

The new study looked at data on more than 64,000 children and mothers in Denmark between 1996 and 2002, while parents reported behavioural problems on a questionnaire.

More than half the mothers reported using paracetamol while pregnant.

Its use was linked with a 37 per cent higher risk of hyperkinetic disorders – a severe form of ADHD.

Children of women using the painkiller were 29 per cent more at risk of eventually taking drugs to control ADHD, and 13 per cent more likely to have ADHD-like behaviours at the age of seven.

There were higher risks for the children of women who used the drug for six months or more while pregnant and higher amounts.

The risk of hyperkinetic disorders almost doubled and the risk for receiving ADHD drugs rose 50 per cent, says a report in JAMA Pediatrics.

Dr Zeyan Liew of the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the team, said: ‘Some recent studies have suggested that acetaminophen has effects on sex and other hormones, which in turn can affect neurodevelopment and cause behavioural dysfunction.

‘Because the exposure and outcomes are frequent, these results are of public health relevance but further investigations are needed.’

Previous research has suggested painkillers including paracetamol in pregnancy may harm development of the sex organs in unborn boys.

A study found prolonged use of painkillers – two weeks or more – may contribute to an increased risk in boys born with undescended testicles.

Dr Kate Langley, Developmental and Health Psychology, Cardiff University, and co-author of an editorial on the latest research, said: ‘This is an interesting but preliminary study which requires further investigation to see if there really is a causal link between taking paracetamol during pregnancy and ADHD in childhood.

‘These findings should therefore be taken with caution and should not change practice.

‘There are many reasons why women take paracetamol during pregnancy and it is possible that it is one of those factors, rather than the taking of paracetamol itself, which leads to a higher risk of childhood ADHD.

‘It may be important to take medications such as paracetamol during pregnancy and pregnant women should continue to follow advice from their own healthcare professionals.’

Professor Jim Stevenson, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Southampton said: ‘The study on a large sample of Danish mothers was carefully conducted and analysed. However, as the authors recognise, and the accompanying editorial makes plain, an association in such an observational study cannot establish a causal link.

‘The study should be used as basis for further experimental research not least because exposure to paracetamol during pregnancy is so common.’

Πιθανόν επικίνδυνη για τις εγκύους η παρακεταμόλη

Η κοινή ουσία παρακεταμόλη ή ακεταμινοφαίνη, που περιέχεται σε γνωστά παυσίπονα και αντιπυρετικά, και η οποία έως τώρα θεωρείται ασφαλής για τις εγκύους, για πρώτη φορά συσχετίστηκε -από μια νέα αμερικανο-δανική επιστημονική έρευνα- με αυξημένο κίνδυνο να γεννηθούν παιδιά με Διαταραχή Ελλειμματικής Προσοχής και Υπερκινητικότητας (ΔΕΠΥ).

Οι ερευνητές ανέφεραν πως πρέπει να γίνουν και άλλες μελέτες για να επιβεβαιώσουν τα αρχικά ευρήματά τους, αν και δεν απέκλεισαν ότι η έρευνα πιθανώς αναδεικνύει μια νέα αιτία για την παγκόσμια αύξηση των περιστατικών ΔΕΠΥ.

Οι επιστήμονες, με επικεφαλής τον δρα Ζεγιάν Λιού του Τμήματος Επιδημιολογίας του πανεπιστημίου της Καλιφόρνια – Λος Άντζελες (UCLA), που έκαναν τη σχετική δημοσίευση στο περιοδικό παιδιατρικής του Αμερικανικού Ιατρικού Συλλόγου “JAMA Pediatrics”, σύμφωνα με το Γαλλικό Πρακτορείο, μελέτησαν στοιχεία για πάνω από 64.000 γυναίκες, από τις οποίες πάνω από τις μισές ανέφεραν ότι πήραν παρακεταμόλη τουλάχιστον μια φορά στη διάρκεια της εγκυμοσύνης τους.

Οι γυναίκες αυτές είχαν κατά μέσο όρο 37% μεγαλύτερη πιθανότητα να γεννήσουν παιδί, που κάποια στιγμή αργότερα θα διαγιγνωσκόταν με ΔΕΠΥ. Η Διαταραχή Ελλειμματικής Προσοχής και Υπερκινητικότητας είναι μια νευρο-συμπεριφορική διαταραχή άγνωστης αιτιολογίας, από την οποία πάσχει έως το 5% των παιδιών, με συμπτώματα από πιο απλά έως πιο σοβαρά.

Σε σχέση με τις γυναίκες που δεν είχαν πάρει παρακεταμόλη κατά την εγκυμοσύνη τους, όσες είχαν πάρει, είχαν 29% μεγαλύτερη πιθανότητα να αποκτήσουν παιδί που αργότερα θα έκανε φαρμακευτική αγωγή για ΔΕΠΥ και 13% μεγαλύτερη πιθανότητα το παιδί τους έως την ηλικία των επτά ετών να είχε εμφανίσει συμπεριφορές τύπου ΔΕΠΥ.

Προηγούμενη έρευνα παρείχε ενδείξεις ότι η εν λόγω φαρμακευτική ουσία μπορεί να διαταράξει την φυσιολογική ορμονική λειτουργία και να επιδράσει αρνητικά στον αναπτυσσόμενο εγκέφαλο του εμβρύου.

Άλλοι επιστήμονες, που δεν συμμετείχαν στη νέα μελέτη, επεσήμαναν πως αυτά τα παρατηρησιακά ευρήματα δεν αποδεικνύουν ότι η λήψη παρακεταμόλης όντως προκαλεί ΔΕΠΥ, απλώς αναδεικνύουν μια προκαταρκτική συσχέτιση, η οποία όμως θα πρέπει να επιβεβαιωθεί από μελλοντικές έρευνες.

Source: Daily Mail

2 Responses

  1. This is a most interesting subject, since hyperactivity is so prevalent today. It would be good to know this is the reason.

  2. With all the dangers of toxicity (especially for the liver), it’s not surprising to me that paracetamol (or acetaminophen as it’s called in the U.S.) would have such an affect on pregnancy. Doctors and hospitals here treat it almost like candy, allowing up to 9000 or 10,000 milligrams a day (in the past) because we’re told it’s such a “safe” drug. Our Federal Drug Administration, which has dragged its heels for the last 60 years, has finally recommended no more than 4000 mg. a day, but it can’t be enforced because paracetamol is hidden as an ingredient in so many unrelated drugs.

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