Acetaminophen during pregnancy can affect language learning skills in girls: study says

Paracetamol is one of the common medicine which has been using for many years and the primary painkiller for pregnant women to relieve pain and fever. But, be careful now as the medicine comes with a side effect which can affect children. As per the new study pregnant women who take paracetamol during their pregnant period more likely to have a child with limited vocabularies skills. Its other name is Acetaminophen, and both are the active ingredient in Tylenol. As per the data given by the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention an estimated 65 percent of pregnant women in the United States use acetaminophen or paracetamol.

The new study was conducted by the researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During the study, they found that acetaminophen or paracetamol uses during pregnancy mostly affects vocabulary learning in girls. But in case of boys, the result is different.

This was the first kind of the study which was for to evaluate language development in relation to acetaminophen levels in urine. The study was published in the journal European Psychiatry on 10th January 2018.

The study included data of 754 women who were in eight to thirteen weeks into their pregnancies. The was given by the Swedish Environmental Longitudinal, Mother, and Child, Asthma and Allergy study (SELMA). The participants were asked to note down the number of acetaminophen tablets they had taken between conception and trial’s initiation. They also tested their urine to find out the acetaminophen concentration level.

During the early production period, around 59 percent of the women used acetaminophen. During the study, researchers divided uses of acetaminophen into two parts, i.e., high use and no uses. Same way they also compared the urine analysis report with top quartile and the lowest quartile.

In the study, language delay was seen in 10 percent of all the children and reveals that in case of boy it affects quite low. When they compared the data, girls born to mothers with higher exposure to acetaminophen in early pregnancy and girls born to mothers who did not take acetaminophen, they found six times more language delay in former group that later group.

The study’s senior author, Shanna Swan, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai stated that pregnant women should limit their use of this medicine during pregnancy. Otherwise, it can affect language development in child mostly the girls.

“It’s important for us to look at language development because it has shown to be predictive of other neurodevelopmental problems in children,” he further stated.


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