For years, pregnant women have depended on acetaminophen, and Tylenol, for pain relief associated with their pregnancy. Up to 65% of women in the United States take Tylenol while pregnant. In addition to Tylenol, acetaminophen is found in over 600 medications that treat pain, reduce high fever, and other medications, according to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association. Although it’s been a trusted over-the-counter pain reliever for decades, recent studies have shown that there is a risk when taking Tylenol during pregnancy. Researchers have found that pregnant women are at a higher risk of giving birth to children with ADHD or autism if they consume acetaminophen during pregnancy.
A study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology stated that women that consume acetaminophen during pregnancy are at a 20% to 30% increased risk of delivering babies with neurological birth defects. Despite these recent discoveries, doctors still prefer acetaminophen over other pain relievers like ibuprofen which can result in fetal organ damage. It’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before taking any medication during pregnancy.
Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Linked to Taking Tylenol While Pregnant
In 2021, a group of medical experts and scientists released a statement in Nature Reviews Endocrinology regarding concerns about fetal development in association with acetaminophen use during pregnancy after discovering an increase in cognitive, learning, and behavioral issues in a growing number of children. The statement referenced a study conducted by the U.S. Health Interview Survey between 2009 and 2017 that reported one in six children between the ages of 3-17 were diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of the recent studies, they maintain that more research is needed to determine if acetaminophen is safe during pregnancy. The FDA cited that the results from the studies were questionable due to how the data was collected. Despite numerous studies and research conducted by scientists and medical professionals, it is still unclear whether acetaminophen use is directly related to behavioral problems and congenital disabilities. Pregnant women should always consult a healthcare provider before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Alternatives to Relieve Pain During Pregnancy
It’s always important to consult your doctor before trying any pain reliever alternative. Listed below are some options to relieve pain that don’t involve medication.
- Physical therapy is safe throughout every trimester of pregnancy. A physical therapist can help a pregnant woman with the various aches and pains associated with pregnancy, like upper and lower back pain, sciatica, and hip pain.
- Chiropractic care should be used with caution during the first and third trimesters but is safe during the second trimester. It’s best to consult a chiropractor that specializes in treating pregnant women.
- Prenatal yoga is a popular workout for pregnant women and benefits both the baby and the mother. Not only does yoga relieve stress, but it can also decrease lower back pain, nausea, and headaches.
- Hydrotherapy uses warm water to relieve the mild to moderate pain associated with pregnancy. Although it is safe to use in every trimester, pregnant women should avoid hot tubs and water over 100 degrees. Hydrotherapy can be performed in a warm bath or under a warm shower.
- Acupuncture and massages are not recommended during the first trimester, but pregnant women may try these alternatives during the second and third trimesters. It’s important to consult an experienced acupuncturist or masseuse specializing in treating pregnant women. Healthcare professionals do not advise these alternative methods if the pregnancy is high risk.
NIH Research on the Dangers of Pregnant Women Using Tylenol for Pain Relief
In recent years, the risk of prenatal exposure from acetaminophen use during pregnancy has been growing within the medical community. Researchers have discovered that acetaminophen taken by a pregnant mother can travel to the placenta and into the baby’s bloodstream. A study funded by NIH National Institute for Health discovered that exposure to acetaminophen in the womb might increase the child’s risk for ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.
As part of the study, a team from Johns Hopkins evaluated almost 1,000 umbilical cords, the level of acetaminophen in the blood, and two of the medication by-products. Depending on the level of acetaminophen found in the blood samples, the higher the levels, the more likely the child was to be diagnosed with autism.
An additional study published by the NIH evaluated children of over 2,000 women that took acetaminophen during their pregnancy. Of those women, only 1,011 consumed acetaminophen during pregnancy. Their children scored higher on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) scales than those whose mothers did not take acetaminophen. These children, ages 1 to 5, that scored higher had sleep and attention problems. If you believe that your child has developed ADHD or autism due to acetaminophen use, you might have a claim.
Tylenol Autism & ADHD Lawsuit
Families have started filing lawsuits against major retailers that sell the popular pain relievers claiming that the labels did not warn against the potential risk of fetal developmental issues related to acetaminophen use in pregnancy. These litigations allege that children were diagnosed with behavioral issues such as autism and ADHD due to taking acetaminophen during pregnancy. Attorneys are seeking compensation for those families that have been affected by acetaminophen and the lasting affects that the drug has had on the child’s quality of life.
Who Can File a Lawsuit Against Tylenol?
If you took Tylenol during your pregnancy and your child was diagnosed with ADHD or autism, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Our attorneys at Reich and Binstock will need more information regarding your Tylenol use during pregnancy to determine whether you are eligible to file a Tylenol autism lawsuit. We will need to know factors such as why the acetaminophen was used, what trimester it was taken and how frequently, how the baby was delivered, whether either parent has been diagnosed with autism, is the child taking medication for autism, and more.
Houston Lawyers for Tylenol Lawsuit
For over 30 years, Houston pharmaceutical lawyers at Reich & Binstock have sought justice for their clients against some of the largest drug companies. If you believe that your child’s attention deficit disorder or autism is directly related to consuming acetaminophen during pregnancy, you might have a claim. Call our office at 713-622-7271 to schedule a free consultation today.