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Tylenol Use in Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Problems in Kids


August 15, 2016 — Pregnant women who use Tylenol during the second trimester could be more likely to have a child with hyperactivity and other behavior problems, according to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

The conclusions were based on data from 7,796 women in England who reported using Tylenol between the 18th and 32nd week of pregnancy during the 1990s.

About 5% of those women reported that their child had a behavior problem by age 7. Those problems included:

  • Conduct problems (42% increased risk)
  • Hyperactivity (31% increased risk)
  • Emotional problems (29% increased risk)
  • Overall behavioral difficulties (46% increased risk)

Tylenol is used by 50-60% of pregnant women in the United States and Europe. It is known to pass through the placenta to a developing fetus. It also produces toxins when it is metabolized by a fetus.

The researchers caution that the study does not prove that Tylenol causes behavior problems. Furthermore, untreated high fever during pregnancy increases the risk of premature birth and developmental delays.

This is not the first time Tylenol use in pregnancy has been linked to behavior problems. Another study published by JAMA Pediatrics in April 2014 found a 37% increased risk of hyperactivity and a 13% increased rate of ADHD-like behaviors by age 7 based on data from over 64,000 births in Denmark between 1996 and 2002. Click here to read more.

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