There have been several recent articles, even coming from the mainstream media about the possible dangers of acetaminophen (Tylenol) use both for children and for women who are pregnant.  Our Director, William Shaw, Ph.D. wrote an article on the research done on these potential dangers in 2013 that was originally published in the Journal of Restorative MedicineEvidence 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.  Dr. Shaw’s article has 84 references which include several studies and articles about this incredibly important topic and here is the article in full on our website, including those references:

Dr. Shaw then presented a webinar to review the findings from his article and you may watch that below:


New Research Since Dr. Shaw’s Article Supporting These Findings:

September 2014:  Associations Between Acetaminophen Use during Pregnancy and ADHD Symptoms Measured at Ages 7 and 11 Years.

October 2014:  Paracetamol: Not as safe as we thought? A systematic literature review of observational studies

February 2016:  Paracetamol use in pregnancy and infancy linked to child asthma

April 2016:  From Painkiller to Empathy Killer: Acetaminophen (Paracetamol) Reduces Empathy for Pain

September 2016:  Maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and risk of autism spectrum disorders in childhood: A Danish national birth cohort study.

September 2016:  Fenton-Like Catalysis and Oxidation/Adsorption Performances of Acetaminophen and Arsenic Pollutants in Water on a Multimetal Cu–Zn–Fe-LDH

October 2016:  Association of Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy With Behavioral Problems in Childhood - Evidence Against Confounding

Do You or Your Child have a Genetic Predisposition for Acetaminophen Detoxification Problems?

Since acetaminophen (Paracetamol, Tylenol) is one of the most commonly used pain relievers, proper metabolization of acetaminophen is critical to preventing toxicity and any resulting damage. Genetic mutations that cause an increase in the metabolite NAPQI or that limit the body’s ability to detoxify acetaminophen will make a person more susceptible to adverse effects from acetaminophen usage.  Our GPL-SNP1000 DNA Sequencing Profile analyzes 7 genes and 72 specific SNPs (mutations) related to acetaminophen toxification and detoxification.  The sample test results shown below are for the glutathione transferase genes.  GSTP1 is the major detox pathway for acetaminophen.  SNPs to GSTP1 can cause impaired detoxification and lead to increased risk of asthma.  The toxic metabolite of acetaminophen, NAPQI, is detoxed by glutathione.  NAPQI is formed in about 5% of the normal dose of acetaminophen.  If you take too much, your glutathione gets depleted and you can't detox it effectively.  The acetaminophen detox pathway is also shown below.   


Recent Media Coverage:

Here are several other recent articles about the possible health consequences of acetaminophen use, including those from major media outlets like the New York Times and well-known CNN medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta: (Sanjay Gupta)


There seems to be more than enough evidence to suggest avoiding acetaminophen for children when they are ill or when receiving vaccinations, and for women to avoid it when pregnant, whenever possible.  Knowing whether or not you or your child has any of the genetic mutations that affect acetaminophen detoxification is very important as well, and we can do that with our GPL-SNP1000 DNA Sequencing Profile