Painkillers During Pregnancy Cause Autism in the Newborn
New studies reveal that there is a significant link between acetaminophen, and autism, as well as ADHD. Autism is a brain disorder and the painkillers can affect pregnant women and their newborns.
Researchers collected the health data of 73000 mother-baby pairs from Europe. The University of Barcelona researchers conducted this study considering the previous studies that supported the same conclusion. These experts discovered how acetaminophen affected unborn babies with autism more than those who were not exposed to this drug. The study found that 19 % of fetuses showed autism, whereas 21% showed ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) symptoms as a young child.
What Is Acetaminophen Drug?
The common name of this drug is paracetamol and around 52 million people in the US take acetaminophen. Moreover, around 600 medications contain paracetamol, an over-the-counter, as well as a prescribed painkiller.
Research shows that around 46% to 56% of pregnant ladies consume acetaminophen. Doctors consider this drug very safe for both fetus and mother, but this study is very shocking. Now, a question arises that how doctors should treat a pregnant woman’s fever or pain?
According to Jordi Sunyer, who is the co-author of this study, “paracetamol is a safe anti-inflammatory drug in pregnancy, but its side-effects are alarming”. At the same time, she said, that “acetaminophen can prevent a pregnant woman from other health risks linked with fever. So, women can’t stop taking this drug.”
Some past studies revealed that acetaminophen can get into the body of the unborn through a wall known as the placenta, which is a protective barrier made of cellular tissues that guard the circulatory system of the fetus. But, once the drug gets into the fetus’s body, it affects the circulation of hormones, resulting in poor development. The top research expert, Silvia Alemany stated that the outcome of this study is relevant to previous studies.
A combination of previous and recent studies on pregnant women shows that painkillers like acetaminophen can cause autism in the newborn. Researchers say that the drug gets into the fetus’s body through a thin wall and may cause autism at an early age. However, sometimes the disease appears later during adulthood. At the same time, paracetamol is the only painkiller that doctors find safe during pregnancy, so women can’t stop it. But, women should try to avoid drugs during pregnancy.Autism is not curable; however, its symptoms can reduce through treatments, including therapy. Certain support programs also help a child with autism.