A new study at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Oslo in Norway alleges that frequent use of Tylenol within expectant mothers may be linked to poorer language skills and behavior problems among children.
The study examined 48,000 Norwegian children whose mothers answered questions about their medication use at weeks 17 and 30 of their pregnancy and then again when the newborn was 6 months old.
Mothers also filled out another questionnaire about their childs developmental progressions three years later.
About four percent of the women took Tylenol approximately 28 times during their pregnancy. The children of these women seemed to have poorer motor skills, tended to start walking later, had poorer communication skills, and increased behavioral problems.
According to researchers they did not find any development problems tied to the use of ibuprofen.
Researchers do agree that is the long-term use of acetaminophen that increases the risk of problems as heavy users of Tylenol reported taking the drug up to seven days in a row a few times during their pregnancies. The long-term use of the products increased the risk of behavioral problems by 70 percent by age three.
"I don't think it's a done deal But for those people who wish to take precautions, this is something they can do," Dr. Martha Herbert, an autism researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told Reuters Health.
Johnson & Johnson spokespersons note that there are no randomized controlled studies that demonstrate a causal link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy however researchers believe that further studies could confirm or refute these results.