Banned pregnancy drug linked to new cases of ADHD

May 23, 2018

It’s been decades since diethylstilbestrol (DES) was pulled from shelves — but a new study suggests that side effects from the medication could still be lingering in the American population.

DES was used by about 10 million women between 1938 and 1971 to help prevent pregnancy complications like miscarriage. But after it was linked to cases of vaginal cancers in the daughters of women who used it, the drug was banned.

According to a study recently published in JAMA Pediatrics, the grandchildren of women who took DES now have a 63 percent higher odds of being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Past studies have linked DES to irregular periods in the granddaughters of women who took it. The grandsons of women who took DES have also been shown to have a higher prevalence of hypospadias, a rare condition that causes the opening of the penis to develop on the underside of the organ.

The researchers drew their latest conclusions from a sample of 47,540 including 861 who took DES.

Read the full Reuters report.