How Paracetamol Use Can Lead to ADHD and Autism

How Paracetamol Use Can Lead to ADHD and Autism

Paracetamol is a useful drug when it comes to reducing a high fever and mild or moderate pain, such as headaches, toothaches or sprains. Even though most of us have paracetamol on our shelves, there’s also a dark side to the medicine.

According to a new study led by scientists from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and that the International Business Times spoke about, pregnant women should avoid taking paracetamol for protecting their offsprings.

Paracetamol increases the chances for children to develop ADHD and autism

If pregnant women take paracetamol, their children could suffer from neurobehavioral disorders. The epidemiological study has surveyed more than 70,000 children in six cohorts from Italy, Spain, Greece, Denmark, Netherlands, and the UK. The conclusion was that a notable link between the use of acetaminophen (aka paracetamol) during pregnancy and symptoms of ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) and ASC (autism spectrum conditions) for children was found.

An official statement of the authors of the study says:

These results replicate previous work and support providing clear information to pregnant women and their partners about potential long-term risks of acetaminophen use.

14 to 56 percent of the mothers surveyed reported consuming paracetamol during their pregnancy. The children who got exposed to the medicine before birth were 19 percent more likely to develop ASC symptoms, and 21 percent of them were more likely to have ADHD than those children who weren’t exposed to paracetamol. Sílvia Alemany, who is the lead author of the study, added:

Our findings are consistent with previous research. We also found that prenatal exposure to paracetamol affects boys and girls in a similar way, as we observed practically no differences.

The study was published in the journal European Journal of Epidemiology.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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