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Researchers analyse side effects of paracetamol during pregnancy

A study found that paracetamol could disrupt reproductive hormone synthesis



More often than not, people in India resort to over-the-counter medicines for minor illnesses with paracetamol being one of the most commonly purchased drugs. A remedy for pain and fever, long-term or indiscriminate use of paracetamol, however, can be harmful. One of the risks it poses is during pregnancy.

Underlining the impact, Dr Shaivad Shabee Hulhasan Abadi, assistant professor, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Apeejay Stya University (ASU) recently co-authored a research paper titled: “Potential of paracetamol for reproductive disruption: Molecular interaction, dynamic, and MM-PBSA based in-silico assessment”, which has been published in the journal “Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods”.

Previous research has shown how prenatal exposure to paracetamol can alter foetal development and enhance the risk of reproductive disorders. In this paper, the authors studied the “interaction mechanism of paracetamol with reproductive hormone receptors” investigated by “molecular docking, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, and poisson–Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) for assessing paracetamol’s potency to disrupt reproductive hormones.”

“This research provides a molecular and atomic level understanding of how paracetamols disrupt reproductive hormone synthesis,” the study mentions.

“We have worked on toxicology in the past as well. This paper was a collaborative work where we wanted to study the side effects of paracetamol at the prenatal stage. We use certain techniques in bioinformatics to find out if the drug in question is causing any infection. This can help us predetermine the toxicity levels,” said the Apeejay professor.

The researchers worked on the paper for more than six months. Talking about how ASU supported this endeavour, the professor added, “I got a lot of encouragement and support from our dean Dr Anupama Diwan. ASU also provided the necessary facilities and resources to make this journey successful.”

The co-authors of the paper are Sayed Aliul Hasan Abdi, Abuzer Ali, Shabihul Fatma Sayed, Amena Ali, Abu Tahir, Mohammad Amir Fazal, Hina Rashid, Omar M Aly, and Sumathi Nagarajan. 

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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