The newly reported study, which included more than 70,000 children in six European cohorts, found that children exposed to paracetamol before birth were 19% more likely to develop ASC symptoms and 21% more likely to develop ADHD symptoms than those who were not exposed.
The paper is titled, “Prenatal and postnatal exposure to acetaminophen in relation to autism spectrum and attention‑deficit and hyperactivity symptoms in childhood: Meta‑analysis in six European population‑based cohorts.”.
At some point during pregnancy, an estimated 46-56% of pregnant women in developed countries use paracetamol, which is considered the safest analgesic/antipyretic for pregnant women and children.
However, mounting evidence has linked prenatal paracetamol exposure to poorer cognitive performance, more behavioral problems, and ASC and ADHD symptoms, the authors noted.
“Furthermore, these studies did not address relevant unsolved questions regarding the link between early acetaminophen exposure and ASC and ADHD symptoms,” the team wrote.
The most consistent pattern of results was observed for the association between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and ADHD symptoms, the team added.
The study also analyzed postnatal exposure to paracetamol and found no association between paracetamol use during childhood and ASC symptoms. »