Wednesday April 25, 2018

Why you should avoid Paracetamol during pregnancy

The study shows, paracetamol could affect your daughters fertility

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Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay
Consumption of Paracetamol during pregnancy may affect the fertility of your daughter. Pixabay
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Women who consume paracetamol during pregnancy, widely used to reduce a high fever or relieve pain, may increase the risk of damaging the fertility of their daughters, warns a new study.

“This study identifies a potential risk from taking parace0tamol or ibuprofen, although we don’t know exactly what effect it would have on human health nor what dose would be needed to harm fertility,” said Richard Sharpe, professor at the varsity.

Read more: Open defecation affects pregnancy, reveals study

Findings

Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells. Pixabay
  • Human ovaries exposed to paracetamol for a week in laboratories lost up to 40 per cent of their egg cells.
  • If this effect occurs in the womb, it could mean baby girls exposed to the common drug end up being born with fewer eggs.
  • This would give them fewer years in which they could become pregnant and lead to an early menopause.
  • It may be because both paracetamol and ibuprofen interferes with a hormone called prostaglandin E2, which appears to play a vital part in the development of the foetal reproductive system.

Also read: Pregnancy seems Safe for Breast Cancer Survivors: Study

The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay
The findings prompts fresh warnings for pregnant women to only take paracetamol when necessary and warrants further research. Pixabay

Methodology

  • The team tested the effect of paracetamol and ibuprofen on human foetal testes and ovaries over a week. Researchers counted germ cells that turn into sperm and eggs.
  • In the ovary, the number of egg cells fell by up to 40 per cent, while in testes the number of germ cells was reduced by more than a fifth.

While unborn boys could also be affected by the drug. But unlike women, whose egg supply is limited, they keep producing sperm throughout their lives, meaning the danger to their fertility is not as serious, the researchers said.

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Prolonged paracetamol use in pregnancy may up autism, ADHD risk

While there is also a 20 percent increase in relative risk for ASD, compared to those who did not take the medications

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Long-term use of paracetamol during pregnancy is associated with the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), a study has found.

Previous studies showed that long-term administration of low doses of paracetamol also known as acetaminophen may affect the development of the fetal nervous system. This effect is often seen years after exposure during childhood.

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Paracetamol can harm infants. IANS

The new study, appearing in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that prolonged exposure to acetaminophen found in the commonly used drug for the treatment of pain and fever, during pregnancy is associated with a 30 per cent increase in relative risk for ADHD.

While there is also a 20 per cent increase in relative risk for ASD, compared to those who did not take the medications. “The findings suggest an association between prolonged acetaminophen use and an increase in the risk of autism and ADHD,” said Ilan Matok, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel.

Also Read: 5 Healthy Ways To Get Back In Shape After Pregnancy

For the new research, the team conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis 1,32,738 mother and child pairs with a follow-up period of three to 11 years.

The researchers believe that it is important to understand that pain and fever during pregnancy can have a detrimental effect on the developing foetus, but acetaminophen is still considered a safe drug for use during pregnancy.

Paracetamol can cause ADHD in children. Pixabay

Therefore, if a pregnant woman has fever and/or pain, acetaminophen can be taken for a short period, and if the fever or pain continues beyond that, she should consult her physician regarding further treatment.

“While the unnecessary use of any medication should be avoided in pregnancy, we believe our findings should not alter current practice and women should not avoid the use of short-term acetaminophen when clinically needed,” Matok said. IANS