Tylenol, including baby Tylenol, is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications in the world. The same painkiller in baby Tylenol is sold under the brand “Calpol” in the United Kingdom and is commonly prescribed to babies to reduce fever and alleviate mild to moderate pain. Parents want to know how much to give to their baby. How much baby Tylenol is safe?
Baby Tylenol’s main ingredient is acetaminophen, known as paracetamol in Europe.
The Food and Drug Administration cautions parents to NEVER give more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen and says that more could harm your child.
Twelve studies have looked at the effects of acetaminophen exposure to the developing brain. Not a single study found acetaminophen to be safe. These studies did find an association between acetaminophen and:
As I’ve written about before, one of the biggest problems with this drug is that it can deplete the body of glutathione.
This is a complicated process but what you need to know is that glutathione is a molecule that helps the body detoxify. Think of glutathione as nature’s mop. It mops away harmful substances. When the liver’s glutathione is depleted, a baby’s body cannot rid itself of harmful chemicals.
Could Tylenol be causing autism?
Today at least 1 in every 68 children is diagnosed with autism, according to the CDC.
Boys, on average, are nearly five times as likely to have autism than girls.
Scientists have long been puzzled by this gender difference: Why are so many more boys than girls affected?
Recent research may hold the answer, which is something I talked to Ty Bollinger about in his 7-episode series, The Truth About Vaccines.
Scientists have found acetaminophen causes sex-specific birth defects in male rats, mice, and humans.
One study, done at the University of Maryland, found that acetaminophen-like drugs permanently damage social function in male rat pups but not in females.
In March 2017, a team of scientists from Duke and Harvard published a review of the existing scientific data related to acetaminophen and autism. When Ty’s film crew flew to Oregon to interview me, that review was was forthcoming. Since the series aired, it has been published. Even if you’re not in the habit of making peer-reviewed science you’re bedtime reading, it’s worth printing out and reading. I also recommend you give a copy to any doctor who suggests you give your baby Tylenol.
The researchers call the issue one of “extreme urgency.”
They write: “…many cases of infantile autism may actually be induced by acetaminophen exposure shortly after birth.” [My emphasis.] That’s what this mom believes happened to her baby.
My co-author, Paul Thomas, M.D., a Dartmouth-trained pediatrician, warns all of his patients against taking acetaminophen: “It is irresponsible, even dangerous, for doctors to recommend acetaminophen-containing products to pregnant women or small children,” Dr. Thomas writes.
So does Cammy Benton, M.D., a family physician based in North Carolina, the mom of three daughters, and one of the most dedicated doctors I know. I met Dr. Benton in Washington, D.C. this past spring. In a blog written in June 2017, Dr. Benton insists that no doctor should EVER recommend Tylenol again.
Tylenol seems to be effective in reducing fever in infants. But in doing so, it profoundly alters a baby’s brain chemistry.
So how much baby Tylenol is safe?
Don’t give your baby Tylenol. Tylenol is not safe for your child’s developing brain.
What should you give your baby INSTEAD of Tylenol? Read my post on better, safer alternatives to baby Tylenol.
What about Tylenol during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know.
Published: August 26, 2017
Updated: November 16, 2019