Has Tylenol Been Linked to ADHD and Autism?
We’ve historically been told that Tylenol is the best pain reliever to take during pregnancy. However, a new study from researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found that exposure to acetaminophen– the generic name for Tylenol– in the womb may increase a child’s risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders. So, is Tylenol linked to ADHD and autism?
Even if the correlation between acetaminophen and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or autism can be made, it does not mean that your child’s adhd or autism was caused by the drug. Lawyers in the Tylenol lawsuit would even agree that not every case of adhd or autism where the mother took Tylenol while pregnant means that the cause of the child’s disorder was the painkiller.
Is It Safe to Take Tylenol While Pregnant?
Most doctors believe that Tylenol and generic acetaminophen are safe for pregnant women to take while they are pregnant. Tylenol has long been a safe and effective pain reliever in all stages of pregnancy, both early stage and late stage. However, as with all medications, it is important to understand the risks of taking Tylenol during pregnancy.
Research has found that Tylenol, also known as acetaminophen, can negatively affect a child if their mother uses the pain medication while pregnant, which is something an estimated 70% of pregnant women do, since it has been referred to as a safe way to relieve pain and fever during pregnancy throughout history.
Tylenol is a safe and effective choice for treating pain during pregnancy. However, it is always best to check with your doctor before taking Tylenol, or any other medication, while pregnant. Most doctors recommend taking the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. This can lower the potential risk of your child having a complex developmental disorder.
What Are the Risks of Tylenol for Mothers and Their Babies?
In recent years, several studies have shown a link between the use of Tylenol in pregnancy and the abnormal development of babies. Some examples of abnormal development include poor fetal brain development, an ADHD diagnosis after birth, developing autism spectrum disorder, and more. The most studied risks include the following.
Some studies have suggested that acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy might raise your child’s risk of development issues. Most of these studies focused on the development of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other developmental issues studied for an increased risk include autism, delayed speech, and cerebral palsy.
In these studies, acetaminophen exposure in the second or third trimester seemed to create a higher risk than taking it in the first trimester. Additionally, the longer you take acetaminophen while pregnant, the greater the risk. Most studies found that short-term exposure to Tylenol had minimal risk, if any.
Changes in the Unborn Male Reproductive Tract
Other studies show that taking Tylenol during pregnancy can change how the reproductive tract develops in unborn male babies. These studies found that acetaminophen exposure in pregnancy may increase a child’s risk of being born with undescended testicles or anatomical changes in the genitals. These changes can put someone at a greater risk for reproductive issues later in life.
Is There a Link Between Tylenol and ADHD?
Researchers looked at data from the Boston Birth Cohort, a study conducted over 20 years that examined early life factors influencing pregnancy and child development. One of these factors was prenatal Tylenol use during pregnancy. They found that children whose umbilical cord blood samples contained the highest levels of acetaminophen were around three times as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. This is in comparison to children with the lowest levels of acetaminophen in their umbilical cord blood samples.
Does Tylenol Increase the Risk of ADHD?
One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality claims that acetaminophen use during pregnancy may increase a child’s risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It has been found within this study that the long-term use of Tylenol may lead to an increased risk of ADHD more so than the short-term use by the expecting mother.
Is There a Link Between Tylenol and Autism?
Researchers analyzed data from a study involving 70,000 children. According to the study, prenatal acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy connects to a 19% increase in ASD risk. This study shows that children with the highest levels of prenatal acetaminophen exposure had around a three times higher risk than children with the lowest levels of exposure. In other words, there is a consistent association between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and adverse neurodevelopment outcomes.
Does Tylenol Increase the Risk of Autism?
Researchers did a meta-analysis in a 2018 study that included seven studies involving 132,738 pairs of mothers and children. For periods of time ranging from three to 11 years people were followed, using questionnaires, interviews, and self-reports on medication use. Their analysis revealed a 20% higher risk of autism for children who had long-term acetaminophen use during fetal development.
How Does Acetaminophen Cause This Harm?
Causation of harm cannot be determined from the current studies. There is only a connection between the use of acetaminophen by the mother and behavioral or attention problems in the child. There could be another factor(s) associated and problems with behavior or attention can likely have multiple causes, including genetic and environmental.
Tylenol can cross the placenta, making its way to the developing fetus and its nervous system. The drug is known to be an endocrine disruptor, and has been linked to undescended testes in males. With the maternal hormone environment playing a critical role in fetal development, authors of the study in JAMA Pediatrics journal say that it’s “possible that acetaminophen may interrupt brain development by interfering with maternal hormones or via neurotoxicity such as the induction of oxidative stress that can cause neuronal death.”
Who Is Liable for the Tylenol and ADHD/Autism Cases?
Currently, legal action has been taken against certain distributors and manufacturers of acetaminophen and brand-name Tylenol. The legal action is on behalf of pregnant women who had acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy and thus had babies who developed neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD.
How Do I Know if I Have a Case?
In order to have a valid claim, your case must meet a few requirements. You may be eligible to file a Tylenol Autism ADHD Lawsuit if you or a loved one used Tylenol during pregnancy, and your child was diagnosed with ADHD or Autism Spectrum Disorder.
If you or a loved one have a child that was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or ADHD and you believe it to be from prenatal use of acetaminophen, contact us today for a free consultation to find out if you may be eligible to file a claim.
Contact Our Product Liability Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one took Tylenol during pregnancy and your child was later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or ADHD, you may be able to join the growing number of plaintiffs that are seeking justice in the Tylenol lawsuits.
At Reich & Binstock, we know that no amount of money can ever make up for the fact that your child may have been harmed by Tylenol, however, we will do our best to make sure that the makers are held accountable for failing to provide adequate warnings about the risks associated with prenatal use of their products.
Call us today at 713-622-7271 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Houston product liability attorneys.