Is This Common Medicine a Baby Brain’s Foe?

Acetaminophen (also known as Paracetamol, Panadol or Tylenol) is commonly used for headaches, fevers and pain. Unfortunately, this over-the-counter medication can have detrimental impacts on the brain and body.

Some doctors advise against its use during pregnancy and infancy to protect the developing brain. Studies on humans and animals have connected acetaminophen’s use with negative impacts on brain functioning, behaviour and cognition. For instance, the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy is linked to an increased likelihood of ADHD, behavioural problems and emotional difficulties for the child.

Many people give acetaminophen to infants and children before and after vaccinations. However, this may compromise the brain. There is some research that shows acetaminophen use during vaccinations may be harmful for proper brain development. This is likely because acetaminophen uses up so much glutathione (a key detoxifying antioxidant in the body) that is needed to process and eliminate the vaccine ingredients out of the body.

Impaired immune system, detoxification functioning, and mitochondrial health are associated with brain disorders like autism and ADHD. And acetaminophen can put a strain on all of these. Before we give any medication, including commonly used ones, we should be aware of the risks as well as the benefits.

Obviously talk to a trusted health care practitioner when it comes to taking any medications or giving them to kids. This information is simply for educational purposes. Take what you will from it. 


References for those who are interested:

de Fays, L. et al. (2015). Use of paracetamol during pregnancy and child neurological development. Developmental Medicine and  Childhood Neurology. 

Hayward KL, Powell EE, Irvine KM. Can paracetamol (acetaminophen) be administered to patients with liver impairment? Br J Clin Pharmacol 2016;81(2): 210-222. 

Kunze, S. Paracetamol depletes glutathione. Retrieved from

Mumper E. Can Awareness of Medical Pathophysiology in Autism Lead to Primary CareAutism Prevention Strategies? NAJMS. 2013; 134-142.

Parker, W. (2018, ‪December 18). Tylenol Damages The Brains of Children, Research Reveals. Retrieved from

Richie JP, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, et al. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur J Nutr 2015;54(2):251-263.

Schultz, S. et al. (2008). Acetaminophen (Paracedamol) use, measles-mumps-rubella vaccination, and autism disorder. Autism, 12(3), 293-307. DOI: 10.1177/1362361307089518

Shaw, W. (2013). Evidence that increased acetaminophen use in genetically vulnerable children appears to be a major cause of the epidemics of autism, attention deficit with hyperactivity, and asthma. Journal of Restorative Medicine, 2(1): 14-29.

Stergiakouli, E., Thapar, A., & Smith, D. (2016). Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy With Behavioral Problems in Childhood Evidence Against Confounding. JAMA Pediatr. 2016;170(10):964-970. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.1775

Thomas, P, & Jennifer Margutis, J. (2016). The Vaccination Friendly Plan. Ballantine Books (an imprint of Random House LLC), New York.

Waring RH. Sulphation and Autism: What are the links? Autism File; 2012.




Disclaimer: The information in this article and on is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The contents here are for information purposes only. Don’t blindly follow advice from anyone, including me. Do your own research. Figure out what makes sense for you and your family. The reader is solely responsible for the choices they make for their health and the health of their family. Consult a knowledgeable health practitioner to discuss what works best for your unique circumstances.



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