Acetaminophen–used in Tylenol, Panadol, Anacin, and more–could be linked to a higher chance of ADHD and autism symptoms in children when used during pregnancy, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The researchers found a significant increase in the chances that a child would show ADHD and autism symptoms when the mother had used a drug with acetaminophen in it. ScienceDaily recently covered the details of the study and its implications.

Increase risk of ADHD and autism symptoms

The reason this study is so worrying is because acetaminophen is used in drugs frequently used during pregnancy. Researchers found acetaminophen use had a strong correlation with ADHD symptoms in teens, while the correlation with autism symptoms was just in boys. This is the first type of study to look into acetaminophen and autism symptoms in youth. It’s also the first to discern the effects on teens.

“Although we measured symptoms and not diagnoses, an increase in the number of symptoms that a child has, can affect him or her, even if they are not severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental disorder.” –Claudia Avella-Garcia, Lead author and researcher at CREAL

Overall, the researchers found a 30 percent increase in the chance of developing ADHD and autism symptoms. The also found that children exposed to acetaminophen did significantly worse on computer exams meant to measure visual speed processing, impulsivity, and issues with attention.

Sheds more light on ADHD and autism

Before you throw out all your stuff containing acetaminophen, the researchers believe more research needs to be conducted to warrant actual caution when using these products. This study does shed light on the possible reasons why there is a correlation and how it relates to ADHD and autism symptoms in children.

One of the reasons autism symptoms may only increase in boys could be because the male brain is naturally “more vulnerable to harmful influences during early life.” Overall, professionals agree this is something important to pay attention to and further study.

Seven Stars can help

If you have a 13 to 18-year-old son or daughter struggling with emotional and behavioral issues as a result of their neurodevelopmental disorder, Seven Stars might be able to help.
Contact us today for more info about how Seven Stars treats ADHD and autism in teens at 844-601-1167!