Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol

Date:
October 29, 2013
Source:
Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Summary:
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the most commonly used medicine in pregnancy, yet there are very few studies that have investigated the possible long-term consequences for the child. A new study suggests that long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse effects on child development.

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the most commonly used medicine in pregnancy, yet there are very few studies that have investigated the possible long-term consequences for the child. A new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health suggests that long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy may increase the risk of adverse effects on child development.

The study uses data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study to investigate the effect of paracetamol during pregnancy on psychomotor development, behaviour and temperament at 3 years of age. Almost 3000 sibling pairs were included in the study.

The study is a collaboration between the University of Oslo, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology 25th October 2013.

Results

By comparing children who were exposed to paracetamol during pregnancy with unexposed siblings of the same sex, researchers could control for a variety of genetic and environmental factors, in addition to other important factors such as infections, fever, use of other medications, alcohol intake and smoking.

  • The study shows that children who had been exposed to paracetamol for more than 28 days of pregnancy had poorer gross motor skills, poor communication skills and more behavioural problems compared with unexposed siblings.
  • The same trend was seen with paracetamol taken for less than 28 days, but this was weaker.
  • To investigate whether the underlying illness could be the cause of the effect on the children, and not paracetamol itself, the researchers examined a different type of analgesic with another type of mechanism of action (ibuprofen). The researchers did not find any similar long-term effects after use of ibuprofen.

Need for more research

"The results strengthen our concern that long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy may have an adverse effect on child development, but that occasional use for short periods is probably not harmful to the fetus. Importantly, we cannot assume that there is a causal relationship between maternal use of paracetamol during pregnancy and adverse effects in children from an epidemiological study. Since this is the only study to show this, there is a need for further research to confirm or refute these results," says Professor Hedvig Nordeng.

Nordeng is a professor at the School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, and is also affiliated as a researcher at the Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

"The findings support the advice of medical authorities; the first choice for pain is paracetamol, but one should be restrictive with all medicine use in pregnancy," says Nordeng.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Brandlistuen RE, Ystrom E, Nulman I, Koren G, Nordeng H. Prenatal paracetamol Exposure and Child Neurodevelopment: A sibling-controlled cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology, October 2013

Cite This Page:

Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "Study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029090518.htm>.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. (2013, October 29). Study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029090518.htm
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. "Study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131029090518.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins