Assessing the risks of pain medication in pregnancy

A few weeks ago a study was released claiming a link between the use of Tylenol during pregnancy and ADHD in kids. Every time a new study is released about the dangers of a certain practice during pregnancy women understandably panic that they may have harmed their unborn child or affected their baby’s future health. I would agree with Dr. Gideon Koren, director of Motherisk at the Hospital for Sick Children, who was interviewed in the Toronto Star story and who noted that there are serious flaws in the study.

The occasional use of Tylenol when needed during pregnancy is considered safe and this study does not change that. What is important to remember is that the use of any medication in pregnancy is a balance of risks and benefits. No medication should be taken during pregnancy if it is not needed, and women should always discuss with their doctors what medications they are taking and why.

For a good breakdown of the study and its flaws, read the Globe's Reality Check: are pregnancy and painkiller risks inflated?

Visit our What’s Safe and What’s Not section to help you make informed choices about what you should avoid during pregnancy.