Researchers are now warning that acetaminophen (commonly known as paracetamol) may disrupt foetal development, as if pregnancy wasn't hard enough. According to a new consensus statement published in the scientific journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology on September 23rd, this is the case.
According to the statement, there is a growing body of data that suggests paracetamol may "raise the risk of certain neurodevelopmental, reproductive, and urogenital issues." It's possible that the medicine is linked to diseases including ADHD and infertility.
Experts recommend that anyone taking paracetamol on a regular basis for two weeks or more contact a doctor, but it's fine to take the medication for a day or two as prescribed.
"It's important to remember that it's still the safest treatment for pain and fever in pregnancy," explains Dr. Tali Bogler.
According to Dr. Jonathan Zipursky, the new consensus statement does not rule out the use of the medication during pregnancy.
"The evidence for harm is based on animal studies and promotes greater research," the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada said. Overall, doctors and academics believe that pregnant women should take paracetamol at the smallest feasible amount for the shortest time possible.
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