The study suggests that there is no increased risk of the two disorders

Precise News

Topline A new study which compared siblings who were and weren’t exposed to acetaminophen during pregnancy found the drug doesn’t increase the risk of autism and ADHD, adding new evidence to a long-debated topic.
That’s how many children—who were all born in Sweden—were used as a part of this cohort, making this the largest study to date to examine the connection between Tylenol and ADHD, autism and intellectual disability, according to the study.
Children whose umbilical cord blood samples had the highest doses of acetaminophen were around three times more likely to develop ADHD and autism, according to a separate JAMA study published in 2019.
However, they noted other factors like maternal alcohol use and stress may also play a role.
Long term acetaminophen use during pregnancy resulted in a 20% higher risk of autism and a 30% higher risk of ADHD, a 2018 meta analysis published in the American Journal of Endocrinology found.
Key Background A separate 2021 study also used a sibling model to examine this link, and it found both the exposed and unexposed children of mothers who took acetaminophen during pregnancy had an increased risk of developing ADHD.
The researchers concluded these results may be partly due to “unobserved familial factors.” The Food and Drug Administration said in 2015 evidence was too “limited” to make any recommendations against using over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen during pregnancy.
A class action lawsuit was brought against the makers of Tylenol and similar generic versions of the drug partially due to the recommendations from the 2021 Nature paper.


First line.

Acetaminophen does not raise the risk of autism and ADHD, according to a new study that compared siblings who were and were not exposed to the drug during pregnancy. This finding adds fresh evidence to a topic that has long been controversial.

Important Details.

Crucial Quote.

As there aren’t many safe substitutes for acetaminophen pain or fever relief, the study’s results may come as a relief to expectant mothers who take it for pain management or fever, according to a statement from Renee Gardner, the study’s principal investigator at Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet.

Large Amount.

2 ¿ 10^4 m. This is the largest study to date to investigate the relationship between Tylenol and ADHD, autism, and intellectual disability, according to the study, because that is the number of children—all of whom were born in Sweden—that were included in the cohort.

The opposite.

The medical community has disagreed over acetaminophen’s connection to neurodevelopmental disorders because multiple studies have found the medication does increase the risk of neurobehavioral problems. A separate 2019 JAMA study found that children with the highest doses of acetaminophen in their umbilical cord blood samples were approximately three times more likely to experience ADHD and autism. According to research published in Nature Reviews Endocrinology, an international team of researchers recommended in 2021 that pregnant women limit their exposure by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. They also called for more warnings regarding the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy. They did point out that additional variables like stress and maternal alcohol consumption might also be important. A 2018 meta analysis that was published in the American Journal of Endocrinology found that long-term acetaminophen use during pregnancy was associated with a 20 percent increased risk of autism and a 30 percent increased risk of ADHD.

Important Background.

A different 2021 study examined this relationship using a sibling model as well, and it discovered that children of mothers who took acetaminophen during pregnancy were more likely to develop ADHD, both exposed and unexposed. The researchers came to the conclusion that “unobserved familial factors” might have some role in these outcomes. In2015, the Food and Drug Administration declared that there was insufficient data to recommend against the use of over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen while pregnant. The 2021 Nature paper’s recommendations led to the filing of a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers of Tylenol and related generic versions of the medication. But in December 2023, a federal judge decided that the research referenced in the lawsuit could not be admitted into evidence because, according to at least one expert cited in the lawsuit, the plaintiffs “cherry-picked and misrepresented study results and refused to acknowledge the role of genetics in the etiology of either ADHD or ATSD.”. While conducting a fresh evaluation of more recent studies earlier that year and declaring them to be “limited” and “inconsistent,” the FDA declined to comment on the lawsuit in September 2023. Other medical organizations, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), assert that moderate use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is safe.

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