Millions of people take Tylenol and the generic acetaminophen each year, and many of them are unknowingly putting their health at risk. In addition to the new research showing acetaminophen use is tied to ADHD in kids, Tylenol is the most common cause of liver failure in the United States. The drug has been linked to all kinds of harm -- yet it remains an OTC drug that you can buy at just about every supermarket and gas station in the U.S. The accessibility of acetaminophen is by no means an indicator of product safety: Like all pharmaceuticals, Tylenol has the potential to cause harm.
As Dr. Michael Murray reports, a recently published study has liked acetaminophen use in pregnant women to ADHD in children. While pregnancy may be filled with aches and pains, it looks like expectant mothers may want to look for an alternate form of pain relief.
Researchers from the United Kingdom analyzed data collected from 7,786 pregnant women and their children. The team surveyed the mothers' acetaminophen use and conducted behavioral assessments on their kids at seven years of age.
The results were shocking: The team found that acetaminophen use in pregnant women between 18 and 32 weeks gestation was associated with an increased risk of ADHD in the children. Specifically, acetaminophen use during that period of pregnancy was linked to a 42 percent increase in risk the child would have "conduct problems and hyperactivity symptoms."
Maternal use of acetaminophen at 32 weeks gestation was also linked to a 29-percent greater chance the child would have "emotional symptoms."
Overall, acetaminophen use was linked to a 46-percent increase in "total behavior difficulties."
The link between acetaminophen and ADHD is clear. As Dr. Murray reports, the research team ultimately concluded:
Children exposed to acetaminophen prenatally are at increased risk of multiple behavioral difficulties, and the associations do not appear to be explained by unmeasured behavioral or social factors linked to acetaminophen use.
Dr. Murray cautions against the use of acetaminophen, especially in pregnant women.
While modern medical dogma dictates that drugs like acetaminophen are safe, there is a large body of evidence to the contrary. For one, acetaminophen is the number one cause of liver failure in the United States. Most cases of acetaminophen-induced liver failure are not due to acute poisoning incidents, but rather, are due to people taking a little bit too much of the drug for a long time.
Acetaminophen isn't just in Tylenol; the drug can be found in over 600 different medications -- and it is as harmful as it is ubiquitous. While 4,000 milligrams per day is the maximum "safe" dose, the truth is some people still experience liver damage while taking acetaminophen in amounts regarded as safe. In fact, health professionals suggest that people only take the maximum dose of acetaminophen while under doctor supervision -- that's how dangerous it is.
How many people are out there taking two, or even three times the suggested serving of their OTC pain reliever? Far too many, for sure.
Alongside the risk of liver failure and death, research has also shown that Tylenol can illicit changes in your brain. Scientists have found that acetaminophen consumption can interfere with your ability to feel empathy for others. While this pain-reliever may be popular, that doesn't mean its good for you.
Learn more about the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals at DangerousMedicine.com.
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