Common painkiller acetaminophen could alter fetal development, researchers warn - Fox News
Sep 24, 2021 1 min, 27 secs

"A new Consensus Statement summarizes human epidemiological studies and experimental research in cells and animal models, which suggest that APAP exposure during pregnancy can alter fetal development and might increase the risk of certain neurodevelopmental, reproductive and urogenital disorders.

However, Nature noted both that paracetamol is widely considered to be the safest option for relief of pain and fever in pregnancy and that the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence states that APAP use during pregnancy is not thought to be harmful.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) advises that APAP can be used during pregnancy at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency, while the U.S.

The researchers pointed out that the management of chronic pain associated with pregnancy has been understudied, arguing that a balance must be struck between "potential harm to pregnant people and/or their fetuses from untreated pain and fever and the increased risks of harm to the fetus from medications.".

"As such, the recommendations by Bauer and colleagues advise that pregnant people should only use APAP if medically indicated, that they should consult with their physician or pharmacist if they are uncertain about APAP use and that they should use the lowest effective APAP dose for the shortest possible time.

They used only studies that investigated APAP as an independent exposure, searching experimental and epidemiological literature in English available on PubMed, including systematic reviews using the search terms "acetaminophen" or "paracetamol," "endocrine," "reproduction," "urogenital," "neurodevelopment," "attention deficit disorder," "autism spectrum disorder," "hypospadias," "anogenital distance" and "cryptorchidism."

The study recommends that pregnant women should be cautioned at the beginning of pregnancy to forego APAP unless it is medically indicated, as supported by 91 scientists, clinicians and public health professionals

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