Acetaminophen Use During PregnancyThe Question: Does acetaminophen use during pregnancy increase the risk of having a child with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)?

The Study: Acetaminophen use was recorded for more than 64,000 Danish women who had a live birth from 1996-2002. The telephone interviews occurred three times during pregnancy and then again when the baby was six months old. Children were determined to be hyperactive if they had a diagnosis of ADHD in their medical record or were prescribed a medicine used to treat ADHD, even if their record didn’t contain that diagnosis.

The Results: More than half the mothers used acetaminophen during their pregnancy. Their children were about 40% more likely to have a diagnosis of ADHD, about 30% more likely to be prescribed an ADHD medication, and 15% more likely to have ADHD behavior when evaluated at seven years old. Acetaminophen use during the first trimester was most strongly associated with the risk of ADHD.

Comment: The best medicines to take during pregnancy are none. Even a drug that’s assumed to be safe may cause problems.

Read More: JAMA Pediatrics, 04/14

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From issue: 29/09-10