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Acetaminophen possibly unsafe in pregnancy

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Wait, what? We’re just now figuring out that acetaminophen (AKA paracetamol, Tylenol, etc) might cause birth defects?

Serious side effects, previously unknown, in one of the most widely consumed drugs on the planet?! That’s awful. And catnip for the medicine-is-evil crowd.

It remains uncertain, but this statement in the journal Nature is “currently supported by 91 scientists, clinicians and public health professionals from across the globe.” It is of course possible for a bunch of fancy people to put their names to complete garbage, but I doubt that’s the case here. At worst the concern might be somewhat overstated, but it does seem entirely appropriate to apply the precautionary principle.

Safety science is always a high priority for me. I have already updated with this citation, in all of the places acetaminophen safety is discussed, such as (most obviously): The Science of Pain-Killers.

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