Paracetamol (Acetaminophen), Ibuprofen and Vaccines
I have NEVER bought a bottle of Calpol (Tylenol) or any other medication in 16 years of parenting five children.
Why? Firstly because it was unnecessary. In the first few months of life four out of five of my children weren't ill, not even with a cold, so they didn't require any.
On the very rare ocassion that they got a fever or upset stomach I just gave plenty of water to keep them hydrated, breast milk (with it's wonderful anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties!), some vitamin C to help their immune system fight whatever they had and a cold face cloth to keep them comfortable. After that and plenty of sleep they'd bounce back and not get so much as a runny nose for the next year.
I didn't see any need or reason to put drugs into their bodies that were filled with sugar, aspartame, colourings and E numbers, in addition to the actual drug. I knew with hydration, rest and a little nutritional support, they'd get over it and since I never used any of these products on myself either I didn't have them in the house and didn't even think about purchasing any.
I have also never owned a thermometer (I refused initially to buy one because of the mercury in them, but then when digital ones came out, I realised I didn't need one so I still didn't buy one). I can tell if my children are feverish, just by touching them.
I have never bought a cough medicine either because I knew instinctively that a cough is there for a purpose and it is to expell mucus from the chest. Why stop something that is assisting your child to get better?
But all of my reasons not to have these things were based upon gut feelings and intuition rather than anything solid I had read about them.
It wasn't until many years later when the FDA banned cough and cold medicines for young children and then the UK followed suit, that I began to actually read about these medications and about how fever works and I realised how grateful I was that my instinct had guided me in the right direction.
The FDA wrote on their website:
' FDA strongly recommends that over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold products should not be used for infants and children under 2 years of age because serious and potentially life-threatening side effects could occur. There are a wide variety of serious adverse events reported with cough and cold products. They include death, convulsions, rapid heart rates, and decreased levels of consciousness.'
WebMD also say:
'For decades, parents have relied on kids’ cold medicines and cough syrups -- typically grape, cherry, or bubblegum flavored -- to ease their children's discomfort.
However, the FDA and manufacturers now say that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines should not be given to children under 4.
Evidence indicates that children's cold medicines don’t really help and may pose a real (although small) risk of side effects, particularly to young children.
One specific concern was that these medicines were often not studied in children. Instead, they were studied in adults, and those results were then applied to children. However, it’s not clear that adults and children will react to these medicines in the same way. Even in adults, the evidence that cough and cold medicines help is weak.'
They say that 7,000 US Children Under 11 End up in Hospital Every Year Because of Cough and Cold Medicines and that in one study, more than a Third of All US Children were Taking Cough and Cold Medicines.
So WebMD and an FDA document mentioned that....there is NO EVIDENCE these medicines work and THEY'VE NEVER BEEN TESTED IN CHILDREN. This after generations of parents assumed they were giving their children treatments based on scientific evidence and that doctors actually had a solid basis for what they were recommending.
The FDA document said
'The Petition states that these products are not safe or effective in children under the age of 6 years for treatment of cough and colds. The efficacy of the cough and cold ingredients was based on the extrapolation of efficacy from adults using a fraction of the adult dose.' - So instead of seeing if the medicines worked in children, they took data from adults and applied it to children.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK then banned children's cough and cold medicines for under 6 year olds.
Patient UK wrote:
'In March 2009 an important statement was issued by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, saying, that parents and carers should no longer use over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines in children aged under 6. For 6 to 12 year-olds these medicines will continue to be available (as there is less risk of side-effects in older children). However, they will only be sold in pharmacies, with clearer advice on the packaging and from the pharmacist.'
The MHRA also wrote:
'The new advice is that parents and carers should no longer use over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicines in children under 6. There is no evidence that they work and can cause side effects, such as allergic reactions, effects on sleep or hallucinations.
For 6 to 12 year olds these medicines will continue to be available but will only be sold in pharmacies, with clearer advice on the packaging and from the pharmacist. This is because the risks of side effects is reduced in older children because they weigh more, get fewer colds and can say if the medicine is doing any good. More research is being done by industry on how well these medicines work in children aged 6-12 years.'
What about Paracetamol/Acetaminophen?
These haven't been banned as they are painkillers rather than cough and cold medicines, but I still don't use them except in extreme emergencies such as a burn injury, broken limbs or for post-operative pain relief, in which case the doctor would give them in the hospital.
Because they suppress the body's healing ability and make it harder for you to get better.
Fever Helps Your Child.
When your child gets a fever, he produces more white blood cells. These white blood cells are part of his immune system and they kill off the virus or bacteria that is making him sick. BMC Pediatrics say that fever increases the production of interferon, which has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. So if you suppress a fever with medication, you are actually limiting your child's ability to fight the infection.
In animal experiments, if sick animals are allowed to have a fever, they have an increased survival rate compared with animals who had their fever suppressed, so I always welcomed my children's (rare) fevers as a sign their immune system was working correctly.
BMC Pediatrics wrote:
'Numerous studies have shown that fever enhances the immune response by increasing mobility and activity of white cells, stimulating the production of interferon, causing the activation of T-lymphocytes, and indirectly reducing plasma iron concentrations [29-32]. Antiviral and antibacterial properties of interferon are also increased at febrile temperatures [33,34]. A decreased morbidity and mortality rate has been associated with fever in a variety of infections [35-39]. Newborn animals infected with a variety of viruses have a higher survival rate when febrile . The use of antipyretics to suppress fever results in an increased mortality rate in bacterially infected rabbits  and an increase in influenza virus production in ferrets.'
(BMC Pediatr. 2003; 3: 9 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC194752/).
In fact, autistic children show a decrease in their autistic symptoms when they have a fever according to the same report.
Paracetamol also depletes the body's supply of glutathione - the most powerful immune cell that helps your child to detox. A patient information sheet for a children's paracetamol product stated:
'When large amounts of paracetamol are taken, hepatic glutathione may become depleted causing excessive accumulation within the hepatocyte of acetamidoquinone, which binds covalently to vital hepatocellular macromolecules.' - i.e, your child's glutathione immune cells are reduced.
(Medicines.ie - http://www.medicines.ie/medicine/1240/SPC/Calpol+Six+Plus+Suspension/).
These immune cells are VITAL for his recovery from illnesses and from exposure to toxins and vaccinations. In fact, a study in Indian Pediatrics found that children who had their measles 'treated' with anti-pyretics had more complications and a higher death rate than those who didn't. (The adverse effects of antipyretics in measles, Indian Pediatr. 1981 Jan;18(1):49-52).
And it may also explain why 40% of parents of autistic children say their regression happened after a vaccination. Parents are advised to give their child paracetamol before or after getting shots to ease their fever and this reduces their white blood cells so they can't fight the vaccine viruses so well and it reduces their glutathione so they cannot detox from the metals, solvants and other toxic substances in the vaccine. Children's ability to 'handle' vaccines depends upon their detoxification system and if this has been suppressed by paracetamol, they can end up with mercury/aluminium poisoning (AKA autism), as the Autism journal found:
'The present study was performed to determine whether acetaminophen (paracetamol) use after the measles-mumps-rubella vaccination could be associated with autistic disorder. This case-control study used the results of an online parental survey conducted from 16 July 2005 to 30 January 2006, consisting of 83 children with autistic disorder and 80 control children. Acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was significantly associated with autistic disorder when considering children 5 years of age or less (OR 6.11, 95% CI 1.42—26.3), after limiting cases to children with regression in development (OR 3.97, 95% CI 1.11—14.3), and when considering only children who had post-vaccination sequelae (OR 8.23, 95% CI 1.56—43.3), adjusting for age, gender, mother's ethnicity, and the presence of illness concurrent with measles-mumps-rubella vaccination. Ibuprofen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was not associated with autistic disorder. This preliminary study found that acetaminophen use after measles-mumps-rubella vaccination was associated with autistic disorder.'
So I will NOT routinely give my children medicines that will deplete their immune cells and make it more likely that they will suffer from complications of illnesses.
(Autism May 2008 vol.12, no.3, 293-307 - http://aut.sagepub.com/content/12/3/293.short).
And that doesn't even address iatrongenic complications.
What are iatrogenic complications?
Iatrogenic is a Greek word. Iatros means physician and genein means 'to produce' and according to a medical dictionary definition means:
'Induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy.'
Paracetamol is the top cause of liver failure in the UK and the USA. By 2003, the drug accounted for just over half of all cases of acute liver failure as a result of overdose and half of these cases were ACCIDENTAL overdose so this clearly is not just about people trying to kill themselves.
The BMJ wrote:
'Of the 275 patients with acetaminophen induced acute liver failure in the study, unintentional overdoses accounted for 48% of cases, suicide attempts for 44%, and 8% were of unknown intent. Most patients who had an unintentional overdose were taking acetaminophen for acute or chronic pain. More than half used only over the counter acetaminophen products, and nearly all of them used only a single product.
The investigators reported that 178 people (65%) survived, 74 (27%) died without a liver transplant, and 23 (8%) had a transplant.'(BMJ. 2006 March 18; 332(7542): 628
In England and Wales prior to 1998, there were on average 212 deaths a year relating to paracetamol overdose (accidental and intentional). After 1998, this reduced to 154 deaths a year. (http://www.news-medical.net/news/2007/04/04/23084.aspx).
A more recent study suggests that there are between 100-200 deaths per year in England and Wales due to paracetamol and that it accounts for 48% of all hospital admissions for poisoning. (Drug Saf.
2007;30(6):465-79 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17536874).
The death rate in Scotland from paracetamol overdose (accidental and intentional) was more than double the rate of England and Wales, with an average of 500 deaths a year occuring.
The paracetamol related death rate in Scotland was 17.9 per million between 1994-2000 and constituted 16.6% of the total of all drug related deaths.
The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology wrote:
'This paper shows that in Scotland there is considerable mortality related to paracetamol use with 16.6% of all deaths from poisoning involving this agent. The over the counter paracetamol pack size reduction has had no significant effect on the number of deaths. These data raise concerns as to whether paracetamol continues to have a favourable risk/benefit profile and whether it should remain available as an over the counter drug in Scotland.'
(Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2002 October; 54(4): 430–432 -
Liver failure caused by paracetamol is not just related to overdose - it can be caused by taking several pills over a staggered period of time, something that is supposed to be safe.
Desiree Phillips, a 20 year old mother of one, died after taking a few paracetamol over a period of time after she had had an operation to remove lumps from her breast.
She was found by her boyfriend, lying unconscious next to a packet of paracetamol. She had a liver transplant operation which failed and she died a week later. Her grandfather said
"If a painkiller is that dangerous, it should be prescribed. Cigarettes have a label saying "smoking kills" but paracetamol packets don't look dangerous. "Desiree was taking a staggered dose – only one or two a day but before we knew it she had done her self terrible liver damage."
A study published in November 2011 found that slightly exceeding the recommended dose on a regular basis can lead to a 'staggered overdose' and result in acute liver failure and death. (The Telegraph, 9th March 2012 - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9134065/Paracetamol-should-be-prescription-only.html and http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8907129/A-few-extra-tablets-can-cause-cumulative-paracetamol-overdose.html).
In 2008, there were two 'provisional' deaths reported to be due to measles, making paracetamol much more deadly than measles, and this lack of deaths for measles isn't due to vaccines. The HPA state that one child who died had congenital immunodeficiency, one child had a lung disease and the other deaths occured in older individuals (most likely vaccinated - if the vaccine delayed the disease to adulthood it would have made it more serious and could have contributed to the adult deaths). Also, the single measles vaccine wasn't introduced into the UK until 1968. In 1967, the year prior to vaccination, there were 99 deaths due to measles. The year of vaccination there were 51 deaths, BUT if you look further back there were only 45 deaths in 1954, 28 deaths in 1956, 31 deaths in 1960, so the disease was beginning to decline in its severity before any vaccination was in place. (http://www.hpa.org.uk/Topics/InfectiousDiseases/InfectionsAZ/Measles/EpidemiologicalData/measNotsAndDeaths/).
The 'treatments' we are given for illnesses are more harmful than the 'dreaded childhood diseases' we are warned about.What about Ibuprofen?
No, I don't give that either.
Inflammation is a normal function of the immune system, caused by increased blood supply with immune cells that target the injured area in order to heal it or ward it off from the rest of the body. Short-term, acute inflammation is actually good for you and is one of your defences.
Immune cells sent to the affected area include mast cells, macrophages, eosinophils and neutrophils. This is called cell-mediated immunity. Any sustained immunological action of these cells results in inflammation, so by giving an anti-inflammatory medication, you are actually STOPPING your child's body from trying to heal itself. (http://www.nutramed.com/immunology/inflammation.htm).
The exception to the rule is chronic, long-term inflammation caused by auto-immune or allergic conditions or by injury that is non-repairable by the body. Chronic long-term inflammation can cause cells to attack themselves. It can cause cancer (cancer often originates from sites of chronic inflammation), depression and is even implicated as a possible cause of heart disease, so I would selectively use ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory if my children had a chronic inflammatory condition. However, as they are all unvaccinated and healthy, they have never had any such condition.
Ibuprofen Causes Meningitis
Most parents are shocked when I mention that ibuprofen causes meningitis but it is a well known fact written about in scientific literature and in the patient information sheets that accompany children's medicine.
A patient information sheet for an ibuprofen medication meant for babies aged 6 months or over, listed meningitis in the side-effect:
'Most people will not have problems, but some may get some.
If your child gets any of these serious side effects, stop giving the medicine. See a doctor at once:
• Your child is sick and it contains blood or dark particles that look like coffee grounds
• Pass blood in their stools or pass black tarry stools
• Stomach problems including pain, indigestion or heartburn
• Allergic reactions such as skin rash (which can sometimes be severe and include peeling and blistering of the skin), swelling of the face, neck or throat, worsening of asthma, difficulty in breathing
• Meningitis (e.g. stiff neck, fever, disorientation).'
The same document also says that ibuprofen may cause an increase in the number of infections they get (e.g, sore throats, mouth ulcers and flu like illness).
There many references in medical journals of the appearance of meningitis in previously healthy patients after taking ibuprofen:
Medicine (Baltimore). 2006 Jul;85(4):214-20. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16862046
Rev Neurol. 2006 Feb 16-28;42(4):217-9 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16521060
Ugeskr Laeger. 2010 Jan 25;172(4):298-9 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20105400
Ital J Neurol Sci. 1999 Feb;20(1):59-62 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10933487
Rev Med Interne. 2010 Oct;31(10):e1-3 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20541295
Ann Pharmacother. 2004 Mar;38(3):408-10 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14742833
Ann Pharmacother. 1997 Sep;31(9):1009-11 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9296242
South Med J. 1988 Nov;81(11):1463-4 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3187641
J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2011;21(6):484-7 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21995183
Therapie. 1992 Sep-Oct;47(5):399-402 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1299979
Drug Saf. 2000 Mar;22(3):215-26 - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10738845
These are only A FEW that I could find on anti-inflammatory drugs causing meningitis.
Could ibuprofen be one reason why babies are getting meningitis? Perhaps babies treated for cold symptoms, fever and 'post-vaccination' pain are actually having their meningitis triggered by infant ibuprofen?
So, what do I do instead?
1. Make my child rest.
2. Provide them with plenty of water for hydration.
3. Give children's vitamin C, enchinacea and zinc and vitamin D to help them recover faster.
4. Use an electric fan to ease pain and discomfort from a fever (but not suppress the body's fever process).
5. Use a cold cloth on their head to ease pain and discomfort.
6. If they have a headache, I use lavender oil head patches (you stick them to the forehead and the lavender helps ease the pain).
7. If they have a sore throat, I give echinacea gumee bears (echinacea does work - I use the adult drops on myself and it always relieves my sore throat) and vitamin C supplementation. I have also given green tea with honey (don't give this to an under one year old).