On the possibility that cold medicines may worsen autism, we remind parents, “Never indiscriminately use fever reducers on your child.”
Autism is a genetically based disorder. However, it is also true that autism is increasing at rates that go beyond the genetic explanation, almost like an epidemic. There are environmental interventions that interfere with genetics. For example, suppose the father had speaking challenges during childhood but developed usually. In that case, it is common for the child to be diagnosed with severe autism later in life, with the parent’s expectation that the child will develop normally after all.
Many factors can interfere with natural improvement. Among them, fever reducers, commonly used for the cold, are considered a severe hindrance. Heat blockade inhibits physiological processes that have evolved over millions of years to protect the body from microbial attack. The central nervous system’s heat immunity mechanism is part of this nervous system protection. It is frequently argued that interfering with the generation of fever with antipyretics can interfere with the brain’s normal immune development, leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.
The most commonly used fever reducer is acetaminophen, popularly known by the brand name Tylenol. Several studies have been published that claim acetaminophen causes developmental disorders in children. Acetaminophen is commonly used to treat fever and pain in pregnant women, which can lead to ADHD and autism in their offspring.
Many epidemiologic studies have shown that the incidence of developmental disabilities increases by an average of about 25% after maternal exposure to acetaminophen in utero. Another study reported that acetaminophen may cause ASD primarily by interfering with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). It has also been suggested that acetaminophen use increases oxidative stress in the nervous system, which may contribute to the development of autism. Ibuprofen, another common fever reducer with fewer studies than Tylenol, also has solid evidence of causing ASD. Propionic acid is a substance that has been identified as a possible trigger for Jaffe. Ibuprofen is known to be a derivative of propionic acid. The study estimated that exposure to high concentrations of ibuprofen during pregnancy or childhood can cause lifelong disabilities.
Neither acetaminophen nor ibuprofen has any effect on treating the viral infection itself. They are given solely for fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory purposes. Doctors widely prescribe these medications for low-grade fevers, not dangerously high fevers, and are readily available over the counter. The result is that children’s immune systems are chronically disrupted by the perpetuation of a fever process that the body does not need, and this can lead to potentially fatal abnormalities in neurological development.
The Mayo Clinic recommends prescribing fever reducers for children with a 38.9 degrees or higher fever. ” A fever is a common sign of illness, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, fevers seem to play a key role in fighting infections… (www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/in-depth/fever/art-20050997).
What should you do if your child has a cold and a fever? We remind parents, “Never indiscriminately use fever reducers on your child.”