Paracetamol taken during pregnancy may be linked to behavioural problems in children, UK researchers have claimed. (AAP) Tweet Facebook Mail The use of paracetamol during pregnancy has been questioned after UK researchers claimed to have found an association between its use and behavioural problems in children.Paracetamol (Acetaminophen) is generally considered safe during pregnancy and is used by many pregnant women for pain and fever.However, a longitudinal study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol found five percent of children born to pregnant participants taking paracetamol had behavioural problems by the age of seven.More than 8000 pregnant women and their offspring were involved in the research, published in the JAMA Pediatrics medical journal.Researchers claim the use of paracetamol at 18 to 32 weeks gestation was associated with increased risk of hyperactivity.Maternal paracetamol use at 32 weeks of pregnancy was also linked to a higher risk of emotional symptoms in children.While the authors acknowledge the study had its limitations, including a lack of information on dosage or duration of use, they suggest their findings have important implications on public health advice, given the widespread use of the drug during pregnancy.RelatedRush to publish COVID-19 research saw errors in top medical journals triple, study findsNew health alert in South Australia after positive COVID-19 case breached quarantineTwo new coronavirus cases reported in South AustraliaProfessor of pharmacology Norman Saunders from the University of Melbourne disagreed and labelled the author’s claims as “bold”.“The authors did not analyse separately possible associations with the different reasons why the paracetamol had to be taken,” Mr Saunders said.Dr Luke Grzeskowiak, a specialist pharmacist at the Flinders Women and Children's medical centre, believes further studies are needed before there are any moves to change clinical recommendations about paracetamol use during pregnancy.”Paracetamol is useful in treating fever and different types of pain and it still remains our first choice of treating these conditions during pregnancy,” said Dr Grzeskowiak.He encouraged pregnant women to talk to their local pharmacist or visit a doctor for advice if they are unsure about using the medication.With AAP
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