ASMI reminds pregnant women to check medications with doctor

26 February 2014

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26 February 2014 - The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) today reminded consumers that over-the-counter analgesics, like all other medicines, should only be used during pregnancy on the advice of a doctor.

These comments were made in response to an observational study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association-Pediatrics that suggested an association between the use of paracetamol in pregnancy and the development of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. 1

An editorial published in the same edition of the journal warned that caution was needed when interpreting this study because it did not demonstrate that paracetamol caused ADHD. It said that the results should not change current practices of prescribing paracetamol during pregnancy. The authors of the study also said that caution in interpreting results was needed and the study needed to be repeated. 2

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Steven Scarff said: "Paracetamol has been used in Australia for the relief of minor aches, pains and fever for 50 years. While we welcome new research and the insights it brings, there are limitations in the study design, which were recognised by the authors, and these include potential confounding related to the condition for which the paracetamol was used.

"This study highlights the importance of not taking a medicine's safety for granted during pregnancy and reinforces the need for women to seek the advice of their doctor before they take any medication during pregnancy," said Mr Scarff.
-ENDS-

About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak body representing sponsors of non-prescription medicines - over-the-counter (OTC) and complementary medicines. Its members make up 85 per cent of the $4bn self care market. Membership totals 60 companies and ASMI members employ approximately 17,000 people with exports estimated at $600 million annually. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy. www.asmi.com.au

For more information or to arrange a media interview, please contact:
Marie Kelly-Davies
PR Manager, Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI)
E: marie@asmi.com.au M: 0408256381


References
1. Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders ONLINE FIRST Zeyan Liew, Beate Ritz, et al, JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 24, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914
2. Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders Cooper M Langley K et al, JAMA Pediatr. 2014; doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914. Feb 24 2014.