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Strong scientific evidence links acetaminophen to Autism and ADHD

Basma Saleh

Strong scientific evidence links acetaminophen to Autism and ADHD



Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol and sold under the brand names Tylenol and Panadol, has long been deemed as a safe option for pregnant women looking to relieve pain, but not anymore.

A class action lawsuit has been filed against the manufacturer, as well as retailers, citing accumulating scientific research that indicates prolonged use of Tylenol during pregnancy may be a contributing factor to the onset of Autism and ADHD.


What research is saying

- A Danish national birth cohort study followed 64,322 children and mothers for an average of 12.7 years found that the prolonged use of acetaminophen during pregnancy increases the risk of autism spectrum disorders.

- In a 2018 study, researchers did a meta-analysis of seven studies involving 132,738 pairs of mothers and children.

People were followed for periods ranging from three to 11 years, depending on the study, using questionnaires, interviews, and self-reports on medication use. The analysis revealed a 20% higher risk of autism and a 30% higher risk of ADHD for children who had prolonged exposure to acetaminophen during fetal development.


- Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the US National Institute of Health collected umbilical cord blood from 996 births and measured the amount of acetaminophen and two of its byproducts in each sample. They found that the higher the fetus's exposure to the acetaminophen while in the mother's womb, the higher the chance they developed Autism and ADHD. 

- Another very interesting study demonstrated the mechanism by which the use of acetaminophen (Tylenol/Panadol), coupled with oral antibiotic amoxicillin (Augmentin), is linked to the autism epidemic.

The study noted that acetaminophen depletes sulfate and glutathione, which are both required to detoxify it, while oral antibiotics kill intestinal bacteria that synthesize methionine (precursor of sulfate and glutathione, and required to methylate DNA). 

In other words, acetaminophen depletes the body of the same compounds that are needed to detoxify it, while antibiotics block the production of these  compounds making it harder for the body to replenish them.



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