Home > Uncategorized > This article adds to the evidence that acetaminophen in Great article reporting that Tylenol and other products are detrimental to the developing fetal brain.

This article adds to the evidence that acetaminophen in Great article reporting that Tylenol and other products are detrimental to the developing fetal brain.

Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy, Behavioral Problems, and Hyperkinetic Disorders


Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics February 24, 2014


Zeyan Liew, MPH; Beate Ritz, MD, PhD; Cristina Rebordosa, MD, PhD; Pei-Chen Lee, PhD; Jørn Olsen, MD, PhD The primary authors are from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).




These authors evaluated whether prenatal exposure to acetaminophen increases the risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children. Hyperkinetic disorder (HKD) is a particularly severe form of ADHD.


They evaluated 64,322 live- born children and mothers enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort.


1) Acetaminophen (paracetamol) [the active ingredient in Tylenol] is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever during pregnancy in many countries.

2) “Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is the most commonly used OTC pain and fever medication, with more than 50% of pregnant women reporting use in the United States and Denmark.”

3) “Acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.” “Acetaminophen has endocrine- disrupting properties. Prenatal exposure to endocrine disruptors may affect neurodevelopment and cause behavioral dysfunction.”

4) “Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders worldwide, characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, increased impulsivity, and motivational/emotional dysregulation.”

5) There is a rapid increase in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD, over the past decades. Part of the neuropathology of ADHD may already be present at birth, potentially as a consequence of exposures during pregnancy and/or infancy.

6) Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children: A)) Hyperkinetic disorders (HKD) by 37% B)) ADHD by 29%

These associations became stronger with increased use of acetaminophen.

17) Acetaminophen is increasingly used as a perceived safe OTC drug during pregnancy.

8) “When women reported having used acetaminophen for 20 or more weeks during pregnancy, the risk for HKD diagnosis in children almost doubled [84%], and the risk for receiving ADHD medication increased by 50% [53%]”

9) “In this large pregnancy cohort with prospective data, children born to mothers who used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, ADHD medications, or having ADHD-like behaviors during follow-up.”

10) “Acetaminophen can cross the placental barrier and recent studies suggested that maternal use of acetaminophen increases the risk for cryptorchidism (undescended testis) in boys due to its endocrine-disrupting properties.”

11) “Maternal hormones, such as sex hormones and thyroid hormones, play critical roles in regulating fetal brain development, and it is possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.”

12) “Maternal infections or immunological factors have previously been linked to childhood ADHD. Acetaminophen is often used by mothers to relieve symptoms due to infections, which may induce confounding by indication in our study.”

13) “Using prospective data from a well-designed large cohort of pregnant women with a long duration of follow-up and registry based outcome assessment, we found that prenatal exposures to acetaminophen may increase the risk in children of receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD or ADHD medication and of exhibiting ADHD- like behaviors, with higher use frequency increasing risk in an exposure-response manner.”

14) “If these results reflect causal associations, acetaminophen should no longer be considered a safe drug for use in pregnancy.”





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