(NaturalNews) Many people mistakenly believe that acetaminophen, the painkiller in Tylenol, is a relatively safe medication. However, just because it's available over the counter does not mean that it cannot cause adverse effects. This is especially true when it comes to pregnant women.
Even the most cautious expectant mother doesn't think much of taking a Tylenol or two when a headache or other type of pain starts to become unmanageable, but a new study shows why this might not be the best idea.
According to a study published this week by the JAMA Pediatrics journal, women who used acetaminophen during their 18th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy were more likely to report a number of problematic behaviors when the child reached 7 years of age.
In fact, when compared to women who did not use the drug at 18 weeks of pregnancy, the women who took acetaminophen were 42 percent more likely to note hyperactivity in their children and 31 percent more likely to note conduct problems.
When it comes to acetaminophen use at 32 weeks of pregnancy, these women were 29 percent more likely to report emotional problems in their child at 7 years of age and 46 percent more likely to report behavioral problems.
The study involved nearly 8,000 mothers who gave birth from 1991 to 1992 in Avon, England. While it's important to note that the link is not necessarily an indication of cause and effect, it does fuel existing concerns that fetal exposure to the drug could lead to neurodevelopmental problems.
Past studies link maternal acetaminophen use to ADHD, asthma
Past epidemiological studies have shown a link between acetaminophen use in pregnancy and ADHD-like behavior. It is believed that the medication changes brain development by disrupting the developing fetus's hormone function.