Study links acetaminophen in pregnancy to ADHD in children

Those who remembered taking acetaminophen during their pregnancy were 13 percent more likely to have children who had ADHD-like behaviors at age seven.
February 24, 2014 8:23:47 PM PST
Could taking acetaminophen during pregnancy lead to behavioral problems like ADHD in children years later? A study in JAMA Pediatrics says it may.

The study was based on interviews with more than 60,000 European women. Those who remembered taking acetaminophen during their pregnancy were 13 percent more likely to have children who had ADHD-like behaviors at age seven.

But Baylor and Texas Children's Obstetrician Dr. Lisa Hollier told Eyewitness News the link between acetaminophen and ADHD was modest. She adds that the women may have been taking it for other health problems that could be linked to ADHD. It was a comment made by other doctors too.

ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser said, "The take away for consumers and for pregnant women is, look, you don't want to take a medicine unless you need to. But if you need to, this is a drug that has a long track history and I think you should be comfortable still taking it."

A weakness in the study is that there is no information on how much acetaminophen the women took because they couldn't remember. So what are pregnant women to do? Talk to your doctor and decide together if you need to take acetaminophen while you're pregnant.

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