As you may have noticed, research over the past few years has begun to reveal that acetaminophen (the primary ingredient in Tylenol) is not as safe as once thought. A new study (published in the Journal of the AMA – Pediatrics
) has shown an association between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and the "risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children."
Researchers found that "children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, use of ADHD medications, or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years. Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy." They ultimately conclude: "Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children."
What makes this study so profound is that acetaminophen is probably one of the most commonly used / prescribed drugs for pain and fever during pregnancy. According to the FDA, "in 2005, consumers purchased more than 28 billion doses of products containing acetaminophen." A "hydrocodone-acetaminophen combination product has been the most frequently prescribed drug since 1997."
All drugs have side effects. In this case, acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) has been heavily marketed to the American public since the early 1950s. Children's Tylenol was first marketed in 1955. Now, more than 60 years later, we are still learning about new adverse reactions, ones that our children's children will be stricken with for decades.
Unlike a decade ago, there is currently a continuous stream of studies that demonstrate the association between the use of various drugs and numerous harmful adverse reactions. Television ads by law firms confirm the frequency of these findings.
The frightening reality is it will not be long before you know the mother of an ADHD child who took Tylenol while pregnant, or hear of a woman who overdosed on prescribed pain drugs. Sadly, serious drug-related adversity is already happening in your community. Don't be a victim. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for more information on drug-free solutions. Visits to your chiropractor can help prevent ADHD by reducing your need for Tylenol and other drugs.