The Science Behind Tylenol Use During Pregnancy Causing Autism

Tylenol is an over-the-counter medication that helps to treat aches and pains, which can be especially helpful to a woman during pregnancy. However, many scientific studies have pointed out that prenatal use of Tylenol or other acetaminophen products can cause autism.

Using Tylenol during pregnancy can cause a mother’s child to experience hormonal disruption, oxidative stress, glutathione depletion, and reduced immune response. These factors can lead to autism, ADHD, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Autism can majorly affect a child’s life, as they can experience difficulties in developing social and learning skills. Parents whose children experience autism because of prenatal Tylenol use have filed product liability lawsuits to hold acetaminophen product manufacturers accountable for failing to warn about the product’s health risks.

Lawsuits Based on Tylenol Use During Pregnancy Causing Autism

Many parents have filed Tylenol autism lawsuits after their children developed autism symptoms because of a mother’s use of Tylenol during pregnancy. There was no indication on Tylenol’s warning label that the over-the-counter medication could cause autism.

Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers of acetaminophen products are liable for failure to warn regarding the product’s ability to cause autism from prenatal use. Numerous scientific studies have connected prenatal Tylenol use and autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and neurodevelopmental disorders.

After many parents filed Tylenol autism lawsuits, plaintiffs filed a motion for consolidation. The Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) agreed to consolidate the individual lawsuits into a multi-district litigation (MDL) before Judge Denise Cote in the Southern District of New York.

How Can Tylenol Cause Autism?

Many scientific studies have established why Tylenol use during pregnancy can cause a child to develop autism. Acetaminophen products like Tylenol can affect hormone levels by reducing testosterone production. This can affect the way the brain develops and cause autism.

Tylenol can metabolize in the liver and produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). Oxidative stress can affect fetal brain development, possibly disrupting neural development and causing autism. Tylenol can also affect immune responses, affecting a child’s development.

Glutathione is an essential antioxidant in the body that helps to protect cells from oxidative damage. Acetaminophen products like Tylenol can reduce glutathione levels and increase a child’s risk of oxidative stress that can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.

Research Connecting Prenatal Tylenol Use to Autism Risk in Children

Tylenol classifies as a defective drug that can cause Tylenol when used prenatally because scientific research connects the medication to autism. The European Journal of Epidemiology published a study in May 2021 that found children exposed to acetaminophen in the womb are 19% more likely to experience autism symptoms than those who were not.

An October 2019 JAMA Psychiatry study also found that chances of autism increased when a mother-child pair’s umbilical cords contained trace amounts of acetaminophen. Children in this situation had as high as a 262% increase in autism risk.

A study from the International Journal of Epidemiology established an even more dire connection. Their research, including data from 2,644 mother-child pairs, indicated that even a single use of Tylenol or other acetaminophen products could increase autism risk by 41%. Repeated use after that can increase autism risk even further.

Tylenol Is Most Harmful During the Third Trimester

A group of 91 scientists voiced their concerns about Tylenol use during pregnancy in September 2021. They published a consensus statement in the Nature Reviews Endocrinology and included data from reviewing 29 independent studies on acetaminophen products causing autism.

In their research, the scientists discovered that the closer the mother is to giving birth, the more at risk their child is of suffering autism from Tylenol exposure. They suggested that the most detrimental effect of exposure to Tylenol for children was during the beginning of the third trimester.

Part of the study included the scientists urging the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to inform about the risks of Tylenol. They also recommended that acetaminophen product manufacturers include a warning label that cautioned about the autism risk of their product.

Animal Studies Prove Connection Between Prenatal Tylenol Use and Autism

Researchers looking to solidify further the causal relationship between prenatal Tylenol use and autism have turned to animal testing. Researchers published a study in Frontiers in Toxicology about their findings about acetaminophen’s effect on mice.

Mice were neonatally exposed to acetaminophen and experienced spontaneous behavior, worsened memory, and learning and cognitive difficulties. The study proved that acetaminophen can affect the brain and cause oxidative stress.

The effect acetaminophen had on the brains of mice is similar to the effect autism can have on a child. The negative effect on brain development by Tylenol exposure proves that the acetaminophen product can cause autism.

Should You Hire a Product Liability Lawyer to Help With Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit?

Parents whose children are diagnosed with autism after prenatal exposure to Tylenol can file product liability lawsuits to pursue compensation for damages. Children with autism and their parents can experience damages like medical bills, lost earning potential, and pain and suffering for which they can pursue compensation.

Hiring a product liability lawyer can help with filing a Tylenol autism lawsuit. Some potential plaintiffs may not understand how to file a Tylenol autism lawsuit to join the MDL, and an attorney with mass tort experience can walk them through that process.

They can also help them calculate the value of their lawsuit, determine the liable party, gather evidence, and keep them up to date on the MDL’s progress. Your best chance of recovering fair compensatory damages from a Tylenol autism lawsuit is with the help of a product liability lawyer.

Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Tylenol Autism Lawsuit

The product liability lawyers at The Russo Firm have decades of experience helping victims of dangerous products. They also have helped other personal injury victims involved in mass torts and can use that experience to advise you on the best steps to take.

At The Russo Firm, our product liability lawyers can explain how to get involved in the Tylenol autism MDL to benefit from evidence sharing and a global settlement. Contact us for a free Tylenol autism consultation today at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page.

Article written or reviewed by:

Attorney Anthony Russo

Attorney Anthony Russo

Managing Partner and Lawyer at The Russo Firm

No-Cost Case Evaluation