Acetaminophen During Pregnancy- ADHD Link?

By CNN

Published 02/25 2014 08:36AM

Updated 02/25 2014 08:42AM

It's supposed to be the safe option.

Acetaminophen, most widely known as Tylenol, is routinely prescribed by doctors for pregnant women in pain.

But a new study calls that this long-standing practice into question. Finding that women using the common pain reliever during pregnancy have children more likely to show signs of ADHD.

And the biggest increase, was among women using acetaminophen the most often and later in pregnancy. Second and third trimester use meant a 44% higher chance of hyperactivity.

Doctor Ritz says acetaminophen may cause damage by disrupting hormones critical to fetal brain development and alternatives to medication, like massages and baths may be a better option for mild pain relief.

You certainly should not take a pain medication just because you have maybe a slight headache.

In a statement, Tylenol maker Johnson & Johnson tells CNN:

"Tylenol has one of the most favorable safety profiles among over-the-counter pain relievers. If pregnant or breastfeeding, the consumer should ask a health professional before use."

Experts say more research is needed to determine whether acetaminophen really does contribute to ADHD and in the meantime are warning pregnant women not to replace acetaminophen with other pain medications.

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