Taking paracetamol while pregnant is linked to autism and hyperactivity in children, a study suggests.
Boys whose mothers used the common painkiller while expecting were more likely to be on the autistic spectrum. And it was associated with higher rates of ADHD in both sexes.
Spanish researchers asked 2,644 mothers how often they took the drug.
When their children were assessed at five, those who were persistently exposed to paracetamol performed worse in tests measuring inattention, impulsiveness and visual speed processing.
But the National Autistic Society said: “No one should draw any firm conclusions from this. Evidence suggests autism involves many factors including genetics, environment and brain development.”