Acetaminophen And Pregnancy

Dennis Perman_Message of the Week

Dear Doctor:

An international panel of scientists is warning that acetaminophen, called paracetamol worldwide but best known in the US under brand name Tylenol, may be less safe for pregnant patients than originally thought.

While they stop short of insisting that it should be banned, they advise discretion, since it disrupts normal hormone metabolism and may alter fetal development, as well as increasing the probability of neurodevelopmental disorders, reproductive issues and genital defects.

Thirteen researchers from the US, Canada, UK, Brazil and Denmark, all experts in public health and/or gynecology, declared, “Based on this experimental and epidemiological literature, we believe the potential for harm from continued inaction exceeds the harm that might arise from precautionary action.” Over 90 more clinicians and public health scientists signed on to their consensus statement.

Acetaminophen has traditionally been perceived to be harmless, making it seem like a good option for pain relief during pregnancy, but this fresh look at the actual experience of many women shines a new light on the subject. Aspirin is only allowed in small doses for these patients, and NSAIDs should not be used after the twentieth week, as they have been linked to fetal kidney problems. This left Tylenol as the prime consideration, but now even that is being called into question.

The intention of the group is to promote more study to better understand the role of genetics and other predisposing factors, pushing the FDA and its counterparts in other countries to examine their findings and update guidelines. They call for a warning label to be placed on all acetaminophen products, and recommend that the drug be sold only through pharmacies instead of over the counter.

This perspective drives home what we have said all along – there is risk involved with every intervention, and healers and physicians have a responsibility to first do no harm. If well-accepted and ostensibly innocuous Tylenol is now under assault, which medications are truly safe?

This is why we cannot accept at face value the opinions of those who may have an ulterior motive.

Living organisms will respond differently to medicine, surgery or vaccines, and so only the most meticulous diagnosis and treatment should be applied, unlike the shotgun approach that is all too common these days. Generalized expectations often fall short of reasonable safety limits, so we must avoid unwarranted invasive protocols when a more organic and less toxic method is available.

Imagine how different the landscape would be if the cultural response to COVID-19 was a wholesale effort on fitness and improving immunity! I know it’s a pipe dream, but not only would it have minimized the horrific toll of the virus, it would set us on a trend of health and wellness that would influence our world for generations to come.

While that opportunity slipped by, there is still time — if we were to manifest a grass roots strategy to promote natural tactics where they are preferable to artificial ones, there would be great impact. We can build a healthier world – in fact, it’s never been more necessary and desirable than right now.

The best day to set goals is the First of October. The second best day is… today. We can’t go back, only forward – let’s commit to spreading a message of healthy lifestyle choices, leading to not only improved immunity, but enhanced quality of life for those who choose it. Be a thought leader – share your insights with all who will listen, and we can usher our neighbors into a new and better reality.

Dennis Perman DC, for The Masters Circle Global

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