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Acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with neurobehavioral problems in 3-year-old offspring

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Recent findings suggest that acetaminophen use during pregnancy may contribute to neurobehavioral problems in offspring.Research published in journals pro swan, Children exposed to acetaminophen in utero were found to have higher sleep and attention problems at age 3.

Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is a drug used for pain relief and fever reduction. In the United States, the drug is considered safe to take during pregnancy and is commonly used by pregnant women. We have expressed concern that it may cause behavioral problems.

Research author Christine K. Schneider Her team conducted a study investigating the relationship between maternal acetaminophen use and child development. In contrast to most previous research on this topic, researchers investigated behavioral problems in preschool children. They also explored possible confounding effects of prenatal stress.

“Recently, there is emerging evidence that acetaminophen is linked to behavioral problems in children,” explains Sznajder, assistant professor of public health sciences at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine.

Sznajder and her colleagues analyzed data from a longitudinal cohort study called the First Baby Study. The study sample consisted of pregnant women from her 18 to her 35 years of age in Pennsylvania. During the first trimester of pregnancy, women completed a telephone interview to assess their health history, health habits, symptoms of depression, stress during pregnancy, and sociodemographics. They also indicated the medications they have been taking since being pregnant. At 36 months postpartum, approximately 81% (2,423) of women participated in follow-up interviews, including the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL).

Researchers found that about 42% of women reported using acetaminophen during pregnancy. The most common reason for taking acetaminophen was to treat headaches and migraines.The researchers also found that maternal acetaminophen use was associated with three of her seven outcomes for her CBCL. I also discovered that Children of mothers who took acetaminophen during pregnancy were more withdrawn, had trouble sleeping, and had attention problems. After adjusting for multiple confounding variables (including prenatal stress), the effects on sleep and attention problems remained significant.

Notably, an association between maternal acetaminophen use and attentional problems in offspring has been previously documented. However, this study is the first to find that maternal acetaminophen use can predict sleep disturbances in preschool children. says that

“Acetaminophen use is associated with attention and sleep problems at 36 months of age, even after accounting for other variables such as childbirth and maternal stress,” Sznajder told PsyPost. “We did not expect to find this association after considering the confounding factors. Therefore, the association was surprising, but the association between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and children’s behavior was not expected to be found. It’s consistent with other studies that have found sex.”

Researchers say exposure to acetaminophen may affect sleep and attention regulation through prenatal neurology. It is associated with decreased brain connectivity in the amygdala, a brain region.

Of all factors assessed, psychosocial stress during pregnancy was most strongly associated with child behavior checklist scores and was associated with all seven CBCL outcomes. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy and a pre-pregnancy diagnosis of depression or anxiety were also associated with some of her CBCL outcomes. Of note, women with moderate or high prenatal stress were more likely to report acetaminophen use compared with women with low prenatal stress.

Strengths of this study include longitudinal data and a large sample size. However, the researchers note that the study sample was not representative of the U.S. population. And the frequency of use was also unknown. The study authors say future studies could assess these variables through daily diaries. Future studies are also needed to elucidate the mechanisms by which acetaminophen use is associated with child development.

“Future studies should consider the frequency, dose, and duration of prenatal acetaminophen use and whether there is a dose-response relationship between acetaminophen use and behavior in children,” Sznajder said. said.

the study, “Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and neurobehavioral disorders in 3-year-old children: a prospective cohort study.was written by Kristin K. Sznajder, Douglas M. Teti, and Kristen H. Kjerulff.

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