Possible link between Tylenol during pregnancy and autism, ADHD in kids, study finds

National

This Dec. 18, 2019 photo shows generic acetaminophen capsules in Santa Ana, Calif. A fight is coming to California over whether to list acetaminophen, one of the world’s most common over-the-counter drugs as a carcinogen, echoing recent high-profile battles for things like alcohol and coffee. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

(KXAN) — A new study out of Spain has uncovered what it calls a potential link between pregnant women using the drug acetaminophen — which many people know by the brand name Tylenol — and then their child developing autism or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Acetaminophen is also commonly known by the name paracetamol. It’s one of the most commonly used pain relievers in the world.

Researchers from the University of Barcelona studied health data from more than 73,000 mother-child pairs across Europe. They found that unborn children exposed to acetaminophen were 19% more likely to be on the autism spectrum and 21% more likely to show signs of ADHD.

“The most consistent pattern of results was observed for the association between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and ADHD symptoms,” the researchers wrote. They said the link was there in both boys and girls but was slightly stronger in boys.

The researchers did warn that this study is just a possible link. Readers should not take their findings as definitive proof.

“Our findings need to be interpreted with caution given the limitations of our study,” the researchers wrote.

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