To Your Health
January, 2020 (Vol. 14, Issue 01)
Expecting? Avoid Tylenol
By Editorial Staff
You probably know acetaminophen by its brand name: Tylenol. You may also know that it's one of the most widely used medications in the world. What you probably don't know, but should – especially if you're expecting a child or planning on having one soon – is that new research suggests expectant mothers who take acetaminophen during pregnancy may increase their child's risk of developing autism and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD / ADHD).
Researchers analyzed data from the Boston Birth Cohort, a long-term study of different factors that influence pregnancy and child development. By measuring acetaminophen levels and two of its byproducts in umbilical cord blood samples, they were able to determine that by around 9 years of age, children with the highest level of acetaminophen exposure were nearly three times more likely to develop ADHD than children with the lowest level of exposure. Children with the middle level of exposure were still significantly more likely to suffer ADHD than those in the lowest level of exposure (more than double the risk).
In terms of autism risk, a similar pattern was noted. Children with the highest level of exposure had a more than three-and-a-half times greater risk than children with the lowest level of exposure, while children with the middle level of exposure had more than double the risk. Findings appear in JAMA Psychiatry, a journal of the American Medical Association.
If you're pregnant or planning on conceiving, make sure you talk to your doctor about which medications are safe for your baby and which should be avoided altogether. And remember, regular chiropractic care is a safe, effective way to help alleviate many of the aches and pains of pregnancy without medication.