Tylenol- Short-Term Gain. Long-Term ADHD, Autism, Asthma?

Tylenol (Acetaminophen) was introduced in the 1950’s and is commonly prescribed for aches and pains or to reduce fevers.

While considered fairly benign with respect to adverse reactions/side-effects by many doctors, there are some studies indicating that certain population are at risk for developing conditions such as ADHD, Asthma and Autism.



Acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy increases the risk of ADHD-like behaviours.

Paracetamol use during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of asthma and wheezing in childhood.



There is  some speculation as to whether regression into autism is triggered, not by the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, but by acetaminophen (Tylenol®) given for fever and pain.


Considerable evidence supports this contention, most notably the exponential rise in the incidence of autism since 1980, when acetaminophen began to replace aspirin for infants and young children.


Pain and fever are inevitable. Fortunately, there are safe alternatives.



Curcumin is the yellow pigment associated with the curry spice that exerts potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

It has a poor oral bioavailability so should be taken with other agents such as black pepper extract (piperine) or  as Curcumin phytosomes complexed with Phosphatidylcholine (Meriva or BCM-95).


Fish Oil (Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

Compared ibuprofen, omega-3 EFAs demonstrate equivalent effect in reducing arthritic pain and appears to be a safer alternative to NSAIDs.



Acupuncture is increasingly used as an alternative or complementary therapy for the treatment of pain. It is well tolerated, with a low risk of serious adverse effects.


Kelly, R. B. (2009). Acupuncture for pain. American family physician, 80(5).




Pediatricians are recognizing that a fever may be beneficial when it comes to fighting an infection.

The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents to recognize fever as a sign that the body is working to fight an infection and not something to be feared.

The main goal of treating fever in children should be to keep them comfortable while watching for any signs of serious illness.

I usually get into a tepid shower with my kids.


More on the side-effects of Tylenol (Acetaminophen)


About the Author

Dr. Geoff LecovinNaturopathic Physician/Chiropractor/Acupuncturist/Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist/Corrective Exercise Specialist/Performance Enhancement Specialist/Certified Sports Nutritionist/View all posts by Dr. Geoff Lecovin