Developmental Problems in Babies
Paracetamol is an over-the-counter drug available under a variety of brands, including pure or in combination with vitamin C and caffeine. Paracetamol appears to be safe at therapeutic doses and is not an opioid or anticoagulant. However, paracetamol is free to pass through the placenta and has a direct effect on the fetus. Several studies address the question of whether paracetamol during pregnancy affects the outcome of pregnancy or the health of children.
Some studies suggest that taking paracetamol daily or most days of late pregnancy may slightly increase the likelihood of breathing or asthma in children. However, other factors may be responsible for the development of asthma in the child. The illness that the mother has and why had to use paracetamol during pregnancy may be the cause, instead of paracetamol itself.
There are several studies, however, that suggest an association between prenatal exposure to APAP and the outcome of neuro-development. These studies suggest that use of paracetamol during pregnancy may increase risk of low IQ, ADHD, and ASD in children.
The Yale School of Public Health has previously contributed to published research that raises questions about the drug’s safety. One of their studies correlates paracetamol intake during pregnancy with an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and impaired cognitive and executive function.
There are also some studies that suggest a possible association with mild developmental retardation (including language delay) and hyperactivity. This association became stronger after using paracetamol for more than 28 days during pregnancy. It is not clear whether these findings are related to paracetamol or other factors.