As followers of our postings know, acetaminophen, the active drug in Tylenol, has been associated with increased risk of asthma developing in childhood. This is why we recommend the use of ibuprofen for pain and fever control in children.
Now this spring, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics, published a very intriguing study of the risk of being hyperactive, using ADHD medication, or having ADHD behaviors, at age 7 years old- each in relation to whether the mother used acetaminophen during that child's pregnancy.
The results were rather interesting. The study looked at 64,000 Danish children and their mothers during 1996-2002.
About half the mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy.
If a mother used acetaminophen during pregnancy, the risk of her child having each of the three outcomes by age 7 years old went up as follows:
- For being hyperactive the risk went up 37%
- For taking ADHD medications the risk went up 29%
- For having ADHD behaviors the risk went up 13%
If the use of acetaminophen was during more than one trimester the risks were even higher.
The higher the dosage of acetaminophen used, the higher the risk for each outcome.
JAMA Pediatr: 2014; 168 (4): 313-320. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914
This study does not prove that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy can cause a child to have ADHD or hyperactivity.
But, it does relate the two, and until further study is conducted we would extend our recommendation to avoid exposing your child to acetaminophen to pregnancy.
Dr. Arthur Lavin
*Disclaimer* The comments contained in this electronic source of information do not constitute and are not designed to imply that they constitute any form of individual medical advice. The information provided is purely for informational purposes only and not relevant to any person's particular medical condition or situation. If you have any medical concerns about yourself or your family please contact your physician immediately. In order to provide our patients the best uninfluenced information that science has to offer,we do not accept samples of drugs, advertising tchotchkes, money, food, or any item from outside vendors.