Research News

Pregnant women are advised to seek medical advice if they need paracetamol for more than one day

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 21 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2759
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

Pregnant women are being advised to see their doctor if they need to take paracetamol for more than a day, after researchers found in an animal study that prolonged use of the analgesic reduced the production of testosterone.1

Four previous studies have linked the use of paracetamol in pregnancy with an increased risk of cryptorchidism in male babies, but a causal effect has not been shown because it is not possible to test the association in women. To overcome this, researchers from the University of Edinburgh developed an animal model using castrated mice, into which they grafted human testicular tissue. These grafts have been shown to mimic how the developing testes grow and function in pregnancy.

The researchers gave the mice a typical dose of paracetamol that a woman would take (20 …

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