A study has taken into account the relationship between paracetamol in pregnancy and the possible consequences on the child. The research, published in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, examined in particular the possible correlations between the intake of paracetamol in the mid-pregnancy period and the behavior of children between six months and 17 years of age.
Paracetamol is a substance that is commonly used to calm pain during pregnancy. Researchers at the University of Bristol examined a cohort study containing data from 14,000 children. 43% of their mothers reported having taken paracetamol at about seven months of pregnancy at various levels.
Researchers also analyzed data on children’s responses to various intelligence and memory tests as well as other data on temperament and behavior. They then found an association between paracetamol intake and children’s hyperactivity and attention problems, as well as with other difficult behaviors.
However, these problems seemed to be no longer present when the children reached the end of primary school. They also found that males seemed more sensitive to these effects than females.
Jean Golding, one of the researchers involved in the study, comments on these findings in a press release published on the University of Bristol website: “Our findings are in addition to a series of findings concerning the evidence of possible adverse effects of paracetamol intake during pregnancy, such as as asthma problems or behavior in the offspring. It reinforces the advice that women should be cautious when taking medication during pregnancy and that they should seek medical advice where necessary.”
However, the same researcher admits that these findings need further investigation with other studies.