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ADHD and acetaminophen use during pregnancy

by Dr. Randy

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Taking drugs during pregnancy is never a very good idea, even those drugs that are generally considered safe. More natural and holistic approaches offer a safer route to treating problems that arise during pregnancy.

Several studies have shown problems associated with taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy. A recent study confirmed that taking this hormone disrupting drug during pregnancy is associated with behavior problems in children. This study examined behavior problems in a group of 64,000 children. More than half of the mothers reported using acetaminophen during their pregnancies. When mothers reported use of acetaminophen during pregnancy, their children at 7 years of age had an increased incidence of reported or diagnosed ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and prescriptions of ADHD medication compared to the control group. In addition, increased frequency of acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of ADHD symptoms in children (Liew, 2014).
This confirms another study of 48,000 children that showed a higher risk of ADHD behavior in children exposed to acetaminophen during their mother’s pregnancies compared to their siblings. Children exposed to long-term use of acetaminophen during their gestation had poorer motor development and more problems with communication, and activity level. Even children exposed to only short term use (1-27 days) had poorer motor skills (Branlistuen, 2013).

There are safe and effective holistic alternatives for most of the symptoms of pregnancy including headaches, viral and bacterial illnesses, pain and inflammation. Seek out a holistic practitioner who can help maintain a healthy pregnancy and treat symptoms that occur with supplements and medicines that have no side effects.
References
Brandlistuen RE1, Ystrom E, Nulman I, Koren G, Nordeng H. Prenatal paracetamol exposure and child neurodevelopment: a sibling-controlled cohort study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2013 Dec;42(6):1702-13. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyt183. Epub 2013 Oct 24.
Liew Z1, Ritz B2, Rebordosa C3, Lee PC4, Olsen J5. Acetaminophen use during pregnancy, behavioral problems, and hyperkinetic disorders. JAMA Pediatrics. 2014 Apr;168(4):313-20. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.4914.

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