Paracetamol use and pregnancy
PREGNANT women have been cautioned against using paracetamol after new research showed male mice exposed to the drug in the womb were less likely to mate with females.
The research found male mice babies had a smaller number of neurons in brain areas connected to sexual behaviour when their mothers were fed paracetamol while pregnant.
Scientists are divided over the findings with neuroscientist Professor Norman Saunders from the University of Melbourne saying the animals in the study were exposed to a high dose of the drug in a short period.
A lower dose of paracetamol in the mice did not have any effect on brain structure or behaviour in the study, he said.
“It is to be hoped that pregnant women who have taken the occasional tablet of paracetamol because they have a headache or fever will not be alarmed by this study,” he said.