Researchers at UCLA have a word of caution for pregnant women who take acetaminophen: it may not be as harmless as it seems.
"Medication that we thought was fairly safe to use during pregnancy for pain relief actually might increase the chance of a child to later develop ADHD," says Dr. Beate Ritz, Senior Study Author at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
They saw an increase in "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" and the more severe form, "hyperkinetic disorder" .
Scientists looked at data from a 17–year study that followed 64–thousand mothers and children in Denmark.
They found the link was strongest the longer a woman took acetaminophen into the second and third trimester.
Dr. Ritz says it's repeated, long-term use during pregnancy.
Acetaminophen is the most common pain reliever expectant moms use.
Over half the women in the study took the drug during pregnancy.
38–year–old Rebecca Barragan is due in August with her second child.She plans to talk to her doctor about the new findings.
"I would probably steer clear from it while I'm pregnant, you know, and power through a headache or any bit of pain that I would have."
While researchers say more study is needed to confirm the findings,
Rebecca plans to talk to her doctor about using acetaminophen.
The UCLA research is published in this week's online edition of "JAMA Pediatrics".