Analgesic drug use in pregnancy and neurodevelopment outcomes: An umbrella review

Janell Kwok, Emily Luedecke, Hildigunnur Anna Hall, Aja Louise Murray, Bonnie Auyeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Emerging evidence from reviews suggests that analgesic drug exposure during pregnancy may contribute to childneurodevelopment outcomes. A comprehensive overview of existing evidence is needed for firm conclusions toinform clinical guidelines. This umbrella review aims to synthesise high-quality evidence on prenatal analgesicdrug exposure and risk of ASD and ADHD in children. Seven databases were searched from inception to May2021 to identify relevant reviews of any design. The AMSTAR 2 and the GRADE quality assessments were used toevaluate risk of bias and heterogeneity. A narrative synthesis approach was used to summarise findings. Fivesystematic reviews and meta-analyses met the inclusion criteria. All reviews reported significant associationsbetween maternal prenatal acetaminophen use and ADHD outcomes (risk ratio range: 1.08–1.34; no pooledincidence rate), with a potential dose-dependent relationship. Potential sources of heterogeneity included usagetiming and dosage. Findings suggest minimisation of prenatal acetaminophen exposure due to risk for ADHDoutcomes. Future studies should include assessing potentially interacting mechanisms associating acetaminophenuse with future neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104607
JournalNeuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews
Early online date8 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • umbrella review
  • acetaminophen
  • analgesics
  • medication
  • pregnancy
  • ADHD
  • ASD


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