Oh, no! Not Tylenol! The Journal of the American Medical Association, Pediatrics recently released an article about a Denmark study that suggest acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) taken during pregnancy can lead to ADHD-like symptoms in the child.
The preliminary study looked at a large cohort of pregnant women over a span of time, and noted that women who were exposed to acetaminophen were more likely to have children who developed ADHD. This leaves many women questioning if Tylenol causes ADHD, and if so, why are their doctors prescribing it?
“It is important to remember that there is not a direct cause and effect relationship between Tylenol and ADHD, and that this study is still in the preliminary stages,” said Valerie Moss, M.D., OB/GYN at Community Physician Network. “Additionally, acetaminophen is one of the few medications that can be used as a fever reducer in pregnancy and it does have definite benefits over other pain medications during pregnancy.”
Of note, this study reviews women exposed to different amounts of Tylenol and in different trimesters during pregnancy.
“Most pregnant women are not taking large amounts of Tylenol and I would advise that all medications be used sparingly in pregnancy unless medically necessary,” said Moss.
She encourages women to keep in mind that there are other non-medical alternatives that can be used for pain relief during pregnancy including soothing baths, pregnancy exercises, support belts, and massages.
“As always, it is important that you consult with your doctor first before starting or stopping any medications during pregnancy,” said Moss.
To learn more about Dr. Moss, visit her physician profile.