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Is It Safe To Take Acetaminophen When Pregnant?

Pregnancy comes with lots of little aches and pains; it’s just part par for the course. Some women have more pain than others, but no matter your levels, it’s no fun to just have to sit it out in fear of taking any medicine to help. No doubt, some medicines are known to be harmful to the baby, and those should be avoided. But what about common drugs like acetaminophen? Is it safe to take acetaminophen when pregnant?

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol, the most commonly taken painkiller during pregnancy and otherwise. But new evidence is surfacing that suggests this common pain reliever may be linked to ADHD in children.

A Danish study done last year followed 64,000 mothers and their children throughout pregnancy and early childhood. According to the study, more than half of the participating mothers used acetaminophen during their pregnancy. The children born from those pregnancies were more likely to develop ADHD like behaviors by age seven and require use of ADHD medications like Ritalin. The mothers who used the medicine in more than one trimester were even more likely to have a child who exhibited symptoms.

According to Forbes, these connections of the drug, known as a “hormone disrupter” that crosses the placenta, “making its way to the fetus and its delicate developing nervous system” deem the medication worthy of avoiding.

Though the data is inconclusive and hasn’t been made “a recommendation for the public” just yet,  it is always better to err on the side of caution, especially in matters that concern the health of your baby.

If you must take acetaminophen, it is of course best to take the lowest dosage possible as rarely as you can.