• The drug paracetamol is a staple of every house medicine cabin. Not only that, but it is a pain relief drug recommended by the NHS in the UK.
  • This research project looks at the effects of the pain killer during pregnancy. That is the researchers want to determine if the drug has any effect on children if their mothers take it during pregnancy.
  • This study reveals that paracetamol may have an effect on hyperactivity and the attention span of children.


About the Study

The research on the effects of paracetamol on children’s behavior comes from Bristol. The evidence in support of the claim that paracetamol influences childhood behavior is available in the journal Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology. Furthermore, the evidence for the study comes from Bristol’s Children of the 90s study. With the aid of the study data and questionnaire scientists have information on 14,000 children from Bristol.

Paracetamol and Childhood Behavior

Through this study, the researchers show that up to 43% of women took paracetamol during pregnancy. Furthermore, the researchers consider the children’s results of memory tests, their preschool developmental tests, IQ, and behavior measures. This study is longitudinal and it looks at childhood behavior between 6 months and 11 years. However, they tested IQ memory until the age of 17.

This study does demonstrate a link between the intake of paracetamol and childhood behavior patterns. That is, the scientists observe that the two coincide in a statistically significant percentage. But this does not necessarily mean that the two are linked directly. Other factors, like nutrition and social factors, can also influence childhood behavior. The scientists believe this study will help further doctors’ ability to give advice on self-medicalization to a pregnant women.

Not only that, but the scientists also noticed other behavior patterns that can be associated with the intake of paracetamol. This research needs to move forward before any claims can be made.

The following link will take you to the NHS page that discusses the use of paracetamol during pregnancy.

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  • The study shows there is an association between paracetamol intake during pregnancy and childhood behavior. However, we do not understand the exact metabolic mechanisms of this change in childhood behavior.