Family wellness, Pregnancy

The Danger of Tylenol for Pregnant Women and Children

You might be asking yourself, why should I question the danger of Tylenol? Haven’t doctors have been recommending it as a safe and effective form of pain suppression for kids and pregnant women for years?

I am sure many parents were downright outraged when information started to be released in the 1980s on the association between giving children aspirin and the development of Reye’s syndrome. This dangerous condition involves swelling of the liver and the brain that can lead to personality changes, seizures, coma, and death. Until then, aspirin was the number 1 recommended pain reliever for children.

Now doctors recommend Tylenol… 

Tylenol is being recommended as a safe pain reliever by obstetricians but every conventional medication has side effects. Could the ingredients of tylenol be putting our pregnant women and children in danger. In this post we will explore some of the pharmacology behind tylenol and take a closer look at the ingredients to find our answer.

What is the danger of Tylenol and how does it increase the risk of Autism?

Acetaminophen causes changed to the mitochondria by depleting glutathione. Glutathione is an essential biochemical that your body uses to bind toxins and eliminate them from the body. Without this, the toxins will build up and collect in the brain and liver, inhibiting normal neural development. (source)

According to this study by Schultz & Gould, children who were given acetaminophen, the main ingredient in Tylenol, were 8 to 20 times more likely to develop autism. 

In addition, this study found that the more Tylenol mothers took during pregnancy, the more likely their children were to develop severe ADD and hyperactivity.

But these are not the only reasons to stay clear of tylenol.

Harmful inactive ingredients

the danger of tylenol

Even if you get past the chance of neurotoxicity that acetaminophen has, the inactive ingredients in tylenol are downright toxic and dangerous. 

One of these ingredients include butylparaben which is a preservative and endocrine disruptor linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity. Pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to this substance. (source)

The next ingredient on the naughty list includes FD&C red no 40. This synthetically produced chemical is linked to behavioral disorders, allergies, and cancer. (source) No wonder you have to worry about serving peanuts at kids birthday parties.

Let us also not breeze past the high fructose corn syrup on the list. It is a highly processed, genetically modified corn sugar which leads to the development of diabetes, high blood sugar, and heart disease. (1, 2) It is also one of the main factors contributing to the obesity epidemic in the United States. 

I can go on with these ingredients and their dangers but you get the picture. Even if the remainder of them were sunshine and fairy dust I still don’t think I would be comfortable putting these substances in my kid. 


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Natural pain relief without drugs

When I read this, I was appalled. I had been following the advice of my OB and pediatrician. I thought I was doing right by my son by relieving his pain. No mother wants to see their precious child in pain OR potentially risk their healthy brain development.

So what is a concerned mama to do to manage pain for herself and her children?

Fortunately, there are many wonderful alternatives to Tylenol that can provide us pain relief without the use of drugs:

  • Drink more fluids: one of the main reasons for headaches is dehydration. The blood is the essence of transportation in the body. Make sure your blood has enough fluid to carry everything it needs to the detoxifying organs, the kidneys and the liver.
  • Reduce stress level: high amounts of cortisol hormone are associated with many negative symptoms such as poor sleeping, anxiety, aches, pains, and high blood pressure. Recognize the stressors for yourself or your child and devise a plan to reduce them. Sometimes this is simply just slowing down and simplifying your daily schedule. You do not have to be involved in everything.
  • Massage: this helps to mobilize toxins trapped in muscles, relaxes the body and the mind. Follow with drinking plenty of fluids to aid the kidneys in eliminating toxins 
  • Epsom salt bath: magnesium deficiency is a common cause of headaches and this bath will allow magnesium to absorb through the skin. The hot water causes vasodilation and reduces blood pressure which can contribute to headaches.
  • Cold wash cloth with Lavender essential oil: place the washcloth on the forehead and use lavender oil to provide a calming effect on the mind.
  • Eat Turmeric: a powerful anti-inflammatory, and helps the body in eliminating toxins. Use the spice in scrambled eggs, mix it in baby food, or buy empty gelatin capsules and place the spice inside.
  • Research Homeopathy: Homeopathy is coined as “alternative medicine” in some countries. Well this is a bit of a stretch because the healing powers of homeopathy are powerful and effective! Homeopathy offers proven medicinal relief to a wide variety of common ailments. The best part about it is there are no side effects. Homeopathy uses substances from the earth in extreme diluted forms to enhance our body’s own healing power. Homeopathy works for headaches and is safe for pregnancy! Find a family guide to homeopathy here so you can learn how to treat your pain naturally.
  • Get adequate sleep: Sleep is ridiculously healing to our bodies. If it is possible to take  a nap, there is a great chance you or your child will wake up with less pain. Keeping kids up late and constantly on the move is a recipe for catching a bug. Prevent illness by getting restful sleep 90% of the time. This will strengthen the immune system.

Want some more suggestions? See what other inspiring natural mommy health experts have to say:

Heather from Mommypotamus has 7 awesome natural remedies to reduce fevers.

Emily from Holistic Squid goes into more detail about the trouble with Tylenol for fevers.

We owe it to our children

Millennial Mothers have an advantage over all other mothering generations. We are in the Information Age. The internet has provided access to free knowledge and the family doctor is no longer the only resource for the best information regarding our child’s health and wellbeing. 

We owe it to our children to stay informed on best medical practices. We owe it to our children to not poison them with chemicals we do not truly understand just because doctors say it is safe.

It does take time and courage to know how to help your child when they are sick. But aren’t they worth the little bit of extra work it takes to find good information? 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or leave a comment below.



The danger of tylenol

9 thoughts on “The Danger of Tylenol for Pregnant Women and Children

  1. Oh my. I never knew Tylenol could cause autism. that was my go to for my baby’s common colds always. But as of today I will not be buying it anymore. Thank you so much for this great info.

    1. Mara,

      You are welcome! I feel really passionate about educating people on ways they can still meet the needs of their family, but also cause the least amount of damage. One thing to keep in mind with all of this is when it comes to drugs like Tylenol and other chemicals, it is the cumulative effect that is causing such devastating results. The more we delplete the levels of glutathione in our body, the more at risk we are of having neurologic damage. If you find yourself in a situation where none of these natural remedies are helping, you may be tempted to use Tylenol. If you choose to do so there are ways to increase the glutathione levels in the body, thus lessoning the damage of Tylenol.

  2. Hi there, what a great and in my opinion VERY important post you have written here.
    Never hear of the dangers of Tylenol for children or pregnant women, though I had heard of Aspirin being not so good.
    Personally, after 3 children, I had instinctively gone for the natural therapy, such as using Lavender to relieve stress, massaging my children and using other natural remedies to aid them (Chamomile tea for gastro) …crystal healing, Reiki and many more techniques helped me throughout their babyhood.
    Yes, your generation has access to A LOT more information than I and many others, thanks to the wonders of Google – use it well….and raise them healthy and well! good luck and thanks for the info!
    Cheers – Orion

    1. I have used Chamomile for my son as well and have found it to be very helpful. Their bodies are so small that something as simple as tea has a great impact on their symptoms. It is wonderful to hear that other parents are interested in using natural ways of healing. As an ICU nurse, I see the side of using so many medications to suppress symptoms and how harmful it can be. It has now led me down this path to find natural healing for my family for common family ailments such as colds and flu. I am not saying I do not believe in the power of western medicine. I am a registered nurse and practice it daily. However I truly believe we can create stronger immunity in our generations by only using these advanced western practices when absolutely necessary such as in the cases of car accidents, cancer, etc. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves so we cannot be scared to find alternative methods to combat normal uncomfortable symptoms.

  3. Thank you for your explanation on why Tylenol can be toxic, and for all the great natural ways to relieve pain. I have already determined to try the cold washcloth with lavender essential oil the next time I get a headache. I am allergic to ibuprofen, and I am prone to stomach ulcers so I cannot take naproxen or even aspirin. This leaves acetaminophen as my only option. After doing a little research, I discovered that it was a good idea to protect my liver by taking the supplement N-Acetyl-Cysteine whenever I have to use Tylenol, as it is a precursor to glutathione, and is used in hospitals to treat Tylenol poisoning. Do you know of any other supplements that might offset the harmful efffects of Tylenol?

    1. N-Acetyl-Cysteine is called Mucomyst in the hospital and I have actually given it to a patient before that was experiencing Tylenol overdose. A deficiency of glutathione is also linked to many types of cancers so its really great for anyone to boost their levels of this vital peptide. There are actually a lot of other ways to increase the amount of glutathione in the body. Milk thistle supplements help restore levels especially when there is alcohol consumption involved. Also make sure you get plenty of vitamins including B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and biotin. All of these increase levels of glutathione in the body. Also eat sulphur containing foods such as cabbage, arugula, broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts.

  4. Wow I never knew Tylenol could have a side affect of autism. Luckily I almost never have headaches so I don’t take much Tylenol at all. When I do take something, I usually take advil. Is that just as bad as Tylenol?
    But I like the lavender oil on a cloth on your forehead. I’ll hafta tell my sister about that because she has a lot of headaches and Tylenol or advil doesn’t really work anymore.

    1. The main ingredient in Advil is ibuprofen which can cause bleeding stomach ulcers and is the use is linked to celiac disease. It is definitely less toxin than Tylenol but be aware of how it tears up your gut. I would advise only taking when absolutely necessary and on a full stomach. Never take any medication on an empty stomach honestly. We need to protect our gut as it is our second brain and plays a huge role in immunity. 

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