Healthy Living: Link between acetaminophen during pregnancy and ADHD

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A new study is linking a common over-the-counter medication to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

A team of Norwegian researchers said women who take excessive amounts of acetaminophen during pregnancy may put their babies at risk.

They studied 95,000 mothers over ten years and discovered women who consumed the drug long-term while pregnant increased their risk of having a child with ADHD by 220 percent.

The study defines long-term use as 29 days or more during pregnancy.

Many doctors point out the results do not indicate that acetaminophen actually causes ADHD.

They cite the lack of a standard in diagnosing the condition as a major flaw in the research. The study also found other correlations that its authors could not readily explain.

Pregnant women who took acetaminophen for less than seven days actually lowered the risk of ADHD in their children.

And fathers who took it long-term before conception had twice the number of children with ADHD.

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and hundreds of other over-the-country and prescription medications.

According to the CDC, 65 percent of American women use it during pregnancy to control pain. 

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