A new study published in the journal Pediatric Research claims that women who take the pain killer acetaminophen up to three months before pregnancy could cause their babies to be smaller and lighter. The University of Toronto reported on the study.
Acetaminophen is in many drugs, but is most well-known in Tylenol in the U.S. It’s recommended to pregnant women for inflammation, pain, and fever, but some new studies have found that the drug may not be safe for pregnant women and could cause cerebral palsy, ADHD, and other issues.
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The new study doesn’t point out a causal relationship, but the evidence does suggest that more research is needed on the issue. The study looked at 1200 women who gave birth at Mount Sinai Hospital in Ontario. They looked for premature birth, low birth weight, and small-for-gestational-age markers in women who did and didn’t take acetaminophen.
Women who took the drug more than once a week in the three months before pregnancy had an 82% higher risk of a small baby and a near two-fold risk of a baby with low birth weight. Women who took it less than once a week in the same time period had a 46% higher risk of a small baby.
Researchers stressed that this does not mean that women should cease taking the drug, but that doctors should consider the results before recommending it if there are other risk factors that could cause these conditions.