When babies are given their first vaccines, parents are usually advised to give them Tylenol to prevent and/or treat fevers that frequently follow a vaccination. When moms-to-be are urged to get flu shots and/or DTaP shots while pregnant, they are also often advised to use Tylenol as a pain and fever reliever safe to take while pregnant. In fact, it has been considered safe for moms-to-be to take Tylenol for the odd headache or other pains common during pregnancy, as well. Some researchers, however, have begun to suspect that this assumption may not be quite true.
In a collaborative study of six European birth cohorts, a total of almost 74,000 mother-child pairs were studied and followed for up to 18 months.
The authors concluded that children prenatally exposed to acetaminophen (Tylenol) were 19% – 21% more likely to later have clinical or “borderline” symptoms of autism and/or ADHD compared to children who were not exposed to this medication prenatally. Boys were more affected than girls. The authors did not find this connection for postnatal exposure.