ADHD Med Exposure in Utero Not Tied to Long-Term Impact in Offspring

No signs of higher risk seen for developmental disorders

HealthDay News — Neurodevelopment and growth in offspring is not negatively impacted by prenatal exposure to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, according to a study published online February 9 in Molecular Psychiatry.

Kathrine Bang Madsen, PhD, from Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues assessed whether in utero exposure to ADHD medication was associated with adverse long-term neurodevelopmental and growth outcomes in offspring. The analysis included 898 children exposed to ADHD medication in utero and 1270 children whose mothers discontinued ADHD medication before pregnancy, who were born from 1998 to 2015 and followed through 2018.

After adjusting for demographic and psychiatric characteristics of the mother, the researchers observed no increased risk for any offspring developmental disorders for either combined (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.17) or separate subcategories. In the negative control and sibling-controlled analyses, there was no increased risk seen for any subcategories of outcomes.

“We can see that the number of women of childbearing age who are medicated for ADHD is rapidly increasing, and therefore it is very important to garner more knowledge to be able to counsel these women,” a coauthor said in a statement. “There are still unknowns, but these results may contribute to women making informed decisions about using ADHD medication during pregnancy.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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