The Scary Reason You Might Want To Avoid Tylenol While Pregnant

Asthma is a puzzling health condition that doctors know can be linked to many factors during pregnancy. Everything from air pollution to the mother's health can affect a baby's risk of developing asthma. 

And because asthma is one of those children's health conditions that has also risen drastically over the past few decades, it's always in the forefront of current research being done. If we can pinpoint an exact cause of asthma during pregnancy, experts reason, we can more effectively prevent it from developing in children down the road.

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Image via Flickr/ La Negra

A new study found that there is actually a link between a medication called paracetamol taken by mothers during pregnancy and their children having asthma at age three. 

At first, when I read that I thought, eh, no big deal. Never even heard of that medicine! But as it turns out, according to, paracetamol also goes by the name of acetaminophen, which is a drug that we've all heard of because it's actually Tylenol. 

And Tylenol, of course, sounds a little bit more familiar, right? Apparently paracetamol is the term used to describe the medication–which is used primarily as a fever reducer and pain reliever–more in other countries than the U.S., but the drug is still the same. 

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As an OB nurse and someone who has been pregnant four times, I had always heard that you should never, ever take ibuprofen while pregnant, which is the other main drug for general aches and pains and fevers. Most of us pretty much have the choice between Ibuprofen (which is a drug like Motrin) or acetaminophen (which is Tylenol) and although pregnant women are told not to really take anything at all, I know I've taken the occasional Tylenol while pregnant, because I was at work and had a massive migraine and needed to, you know, be able to function.  

{ MORE: Science Has an Explanation For Why First Pregnancies Can Be So Much Harder }

But back to the study: It looked at different factors that might explain the children's asthma and eventually concluded that the medication itself was the most likely cause. It didn't specify an exact amount or what exactly the mother was taking it for, so the findings are still not completely helpful. However, they point to the fact that regular use of any medication during pregnancy carries some risk, so even if it's for something as simple as a headache, you may want to try some natural remedies before turning to medications during your pregnancy. 

Did you take any medications while pregnant?


What do you think?

The Scary Reason You Might Want To Avoid Tylenol While Pregnant

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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  1. Amie says:

    Personally I’m all for all natural …But…you have to be careful with herbal remedies too. There are herbs that are just as dangerous… as someone that has a constant migraine (since July 2010) I went off all my prescriptions, stopped taking ibuprofen….But have consequently taken more Tylenol than I have…probably in my life in the past 6 months. I read an article like this and think…Well, I’m screwed. Not taking anything for pain is just not an option…did I mention I also have fibromyalgia ? So yeah, I read stuff like this and find it very discouraging. There really needs to be more reference to what study this is…because I’ve seen studies that say “oh this drug is bad” but when you look at the actual data…It’s actually inconclusive because all the people that had negative outcomes also had other factors, like being on multiple drugs, having a medical condition, etc… So, before anyone decides to withdraw from functional society and be in excruciating pain for the next however many months…. Try and check the actual data (it will likely take digging…But it’s out there someplace)

  2. Jill says:

    There is zero reference in this article as to who’s “study” this whole article is based off of. What are the names of the researchers working under what company and paid for by whom? Without any information for me to research the credibility of the study performed I am left feeling like I just read an opinion.

    • Amie says:

      I agree with you. I’ve read several versions of this all saying don’t take Tylenol…But no one references the study or gives any info that would allow anyone to check it out. If the author could post their source, that would be awesome.


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