Paracetamol in pregnancy may lower testosterone in unborn boys

The University of Edinburgh study tested the effect of paracetamol on
testosterone production in mice that carried grafts of human testicular
tissue. These grafts have been shown to mimic how the developing testes
grow and function during pregnancy.
Scientists gave the mice a typical daily dose of paracetamol - over a
period of either 24 hours or seven days. They measured the amount of
testosterone produced by the human tissue an hour after the final dose
of paracetamol.
They found there was no effect on testosterone production following
24 hours of paracetamol treatment. After seven days of exposure,
however, the amount of testosterone was reduced by 45 per cent.
The team - from the University's MRC Centre for Reproductive Health -
say further research is required to establish the mechanism by which
paracetamol might have this effect.

The study is published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
It is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the British Society of Paediatric
Endocrinology and Diabetes and the Medical Research Council.

Dr Rod Mitchell, a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Research
Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, said: "This study adds to
existing evidence that prolonged use of paracetamol in pregnancy may increase the risk of reproductive disorders in male babies.

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