Does Tylenol Heighten the Risk of Autism?

You probably have trusted Tylenol as a reasonably safe painkiller for most of your life. The warnings typically mention heart issues and various side effects that can come from overuse, but nothing about autism or ADHD. You might be shocked, just as so many people around the country are, to hear that Tylenol use during pregnancy could increase the child’s risk of autism later in life.

New Medical Research Suggests Strong Connection Between Tylenol & Autism

Boston Birth Cohort researchers studies the umbilical cord blood from nearly 1,000 births to measure acetaminophen levels, as well as traces of the byproducts that the drug makes when metabolized. This large sample group allowed them to compare the acetaminophen levels to the rates of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the children as they got older.

By the time the children in the study were about 9 years old:

  • 25.8% of them had been diagnosed with ADHD only
  • 6.6% of them had been diagnosed with ASD only
  • 4.2% of them had been diagnosed with ADHD and ASD

Children with higher-than-average acetaminophen levels in utero were:

  • 2.56 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than the average child.
  • 2.88 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than the average child.

The results of this study reinforce a long-hold suspicion within medical circles: acetaminophen/Tylenol can increase a child’s risk of autism by causing mild to moderate forms of brain maldevelopment in utero. This theory first arose years ago and gained more attention as the autism diagnosis rate among young children seemed to be increasing in recent years. While it is possible that more attention is given to ASD and that heightened awareness naturally causes more cases to be seen and diagnosed, it is also possible that an external factor is adding to the increase, like Tylenol use while pregnant might be.

The lawsuits forming against Tylenol and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), argue that the Big Pharma corporations did not adequately warn consumers about the possible heightened risk of autism. If the medical community was looking into the potential link, then the companies reasonably should have been aware of it and committed resources to their own research. Yet, at this time, there appears to have been no effort from J&J to examine the link or update its product's warning labels. This failure to warn consumers could justify compensation to them, which could be paid through a consumer class action that is currently forming.

Was Your Child Diagnosed with Autism?

If your child was diagnosed with autism and you or the child’s mother took Tylenol while pregnant, then there could be a connection—and you could have legal grounds to demand compensation from J&J. Claims against the company can seek damages related to the autism diagnosis, like specialized medical care and educational opportunities. In cases of autism that cause mental debilitation, the compensation could be used to provide lifelong care for that person who can’t earn gainful employment on their own.

Lawsuits are already piling up against J&J in light of this recent medical research. A court will soon decide if there are enough similar complaints to justify class action litigation. If it does, then the court might also approve punitive damages against Tylenol and J&J, which would be used to punish the corporations for failing to warn their consumers. As is often the case with large-scale class action awards against mega-corporations, the punitive damage award could be the most significant part of the compensation that is distributed among the plaintiff class members.

Golomb Legal. is currently investigating Tylenol autism lawsuits, how they are forming, and who can file one. If your child has autism that you can link to Tylenol use, then let us know today. Although we are based in Philadelphia, our team handles dangerous drug and class action lawsuits nationwide. In doing so, we have recovered more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Call (215) 278-4449 or contact us online for more information.

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