Paracetamol, one of Australia’s common pain relievers has been linked to an increased risk of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
A study by the University of California and University of Aarhus in Denmark surveyed more than 64,000 Danish women between 1996 and 2002.
Women who took Paracetamol while pregnant had a 37 percent higher risk of having a child who would be later diagnosed with ADHD compared to women who didn’t take Paracetamol while pregnant. There was also a 29 percent higher chance of children exhibiting ADHD-like behaviours and who were later prescribed medications.
This is only a preliminary link and more study is needed to confirm the findings, but it could be a new potential cause for the worldwide rise of ADHD cases in children. However, previous research has suggested that paracetamol can interfere with hormone function and may affect the development of a foetal brain, underlining the importance of being aware of a drug’s safety during pregnancy.
This study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Paediatrics – February edition.