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Us of pain reliever Acetaminophen in pregnancy linked to risk of ADHD

Published on Feb 25, 2014 5:57 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Acetaminophen, a common pain reliever considered safe for pregnant women, has been linked for the first time to an increased risk of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder in children, said a study on Monday.

More studies are needed to confirm the findings, but experts said the research points to a new potential cause for the worldwide rise in cases of ADHD, a neuro-behavioral condition which has no known cause and affects as many as five percent of US children.

Women who took acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, while pregnant had a 37 per cent higher risk of having a child who would be later given a hospital diagnosis of hyperkinetic disorder, a particularly severe form of ADHD, said the study in February 24 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

Compared to women who did not take acetaminophen while pregnant, women who did also had a 29 per cent higher chance of having children who were later prescribed medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and a 13 per cent higher chance of exhibiting ADHD-like behaviors by age seven.

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