We have been talking about this topic since January of 2012 (click here for article). However, we were excited to see that today, 2 years later, the story has reached the mainstream media.
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) concluded from their study of 64,322 live-born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort during 1996-2002 that, “Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for Hyperkinetic Disorders (HKDs) and ADHD-like behaviors in children.”
This is not the first study to replicate the findings reported on by Dr. William Shaw two years ago. Dr. Shaw, in his recent newsletter, refers to a study reported on in the International Journal of Epidemiology between 1999 and 2008 on 48,631 children. They found that:
- Exposure to acetaminophen for more than 28 days during fetal life increases the risk of adverse psychomotor and behavioral outcomes by almost 70%.
- Exposure to acetaminophen doubles the risk of language problems in 3-year-old children.
- In contrast they found no association between ibuprofen on the same neurodevelopmental outcomes, which suggests a specific effect of acetaminophen rather than a general effect of pain medicines.
- Even short-term exposure (1-27 days) during pregnancy was associated with poor gross motor development.
Also in his recent newsletter, Dr. Shaw calls for a warning label be placed on all acetaminophen products intended for pregnant women and young children. His rationale for this is that acetaminophen has not just been linked to ADHD. It has been associated with:
- increased rates of cancer
- plausible causation of autism
- plausible causation of brain damage (in vitro evidence associated with acetaminophen metabolites)
- increased risks of testicular damage
- language problems
- adverse psychomotor and neurodevelopmental outcomes when used in pregnancy
To read more about the risks of acetaminophen, click here.