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August 15, 2016 — JAMA Pediatrics has published a study linking the use of Tylenol during pregnancy with a higher risk of having a baby with hyperactivity and conduct problems.

The long-term study analyzed data from 7,796 pregnant women in England who said they used Tylenol in the second trimester (between 18 and 32 weeks) in the 1990s.

About 5% of the mothers said the children had behavior problems by the time they were 7 years old. Tylenol was associated with the following risks:

  • 42% increased risk of conduct problems
  • 31% increased risk of hyperactivity
  • 29% increased risk of emotional problems
  • 46% increased risk of overall behavioral difficulties

No increased risk was seen in mothers who used Tylenol after delivery or the children of fathers who used Tylenol.

Tylenol is one of the most commonly-used pain-relievers, and is generally considered safe for use during pregnancy. It is used by 50-60% of pregnant women in the United States and Europe.

The problem is that Tylenol is a “hormone-disruptor” that passes through the placenta to a fetus when used by pregnant women. The drug is known to produce toxic metabolites in a developing baby.