Thursday February 21, 2019

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.

Protein responsible for postpartum depression in pregnancy found
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.

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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

Next Story

Study Claims, There Should Be Treatment Options Given for Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. 

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

Though miscarriage is a traumatic experience for both parents, resulting in feelings of loss and grief that in some cases can lead to anxiety and depression, women experiencing miscarriage should be offered a choice in the treatment they receive, suggests a study.

Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies.

Although guidelines recommend trying to resolve an unsuccessful pregnancy naturally, the new analysis shows that this is only successful in 70 per cent of cases, and potentially comes with complications that are rarely communicated to patients.

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Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added. Pixabay

The study from the University of Warwick and Queen Mary University of London, demonstrates little to no difference in medical effectiveness in resolving an unsuccessful pregnancy between medical and surgical options.

Thus, the team recommend the doctors to offer women a choice of treatment options for miscarriage to enable them to make an informed decision that takes account of potential uncomfortable side effects, long waiting times and extended periods of recovery.

“What we have to do is provide women with evidence about the benefits and effectiveness of each treatment option and potential side effects so that they can choose what they feel most comfortable with,” said lead author Bassel Wattar from Warwick Medical School.

“Some women are more keen on having a quick surgical intervention so that they can resume their lifestyle immediately, some are very keen to avoid surgery and prefer to go with a tablet, and others want to take a more natural approach,” Wattar added.

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Miscarriage is the most common complication of pregnancy and affects an estimated one in four pregnancies. Pixabay

For the results, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update, the team reviewed 46 trials involving over 9,000 women who experienced spontaneous loss of pregnancy (miscarriage) before 14 weeks gestation.
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During a miscarriage, the body will aim to resolve the unsuccessful pregnancy naturally but conservative treatment can be painful with increased bleeding, increased likelihood of hospital admission, reduced quality of treatment and reduced satisfaction.

However, surgery which include electric vacuum aspiration, and medical treatment with a tablet were found to have similar effectiveness in treating miscarriage as conservative treatment. (IANS)