We’ve long been told that acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Paracetamol®) is the best pain reliever to take during pregnancy. However, several studies have indicated Tylenol and Autism links.
What You Need to Know About The Tylenol and Autism Link
Tylenol and autism or ADHD lawsuits are being filed due to the possible links between the drug and these disorders. Drug manufacturers of acetaminophen-containing medications dismiss these findings.
Opinion Note from Alicia Trautwein on the Tylenol and Autism Link:
Here at The Mom Kind, one of my main goals is to provide straightforward autism information. This is done to give parents the tools to form their own opinions. When it comes to the causes of autism, I am incredibly cautious about what information we provide. As of current, there is no known cause of autism. Instead, many factors include genetics, environment, and biologicals.
Historically speaking, we know the harms of misinformation within the autism community. A massive piece of evidence of this harm is the anti-vax movement.
Due to one debunked research study from 1998, parents are still refusing life-saving vaccinations for children. We know that vaccines do not cause autism. There was a belief that the MMR vaccine caused autism due to the timing of the vaccine and when autism symptoms were first noted (18 months). The key takeaway was this: Correlation does not equal causation.
The research studies on autism and Tylenol contain more participants and were done correctly (compared to the Wakefield study). The key takeaway I gathered from reaching the link between Tylenol and autism is this: None of the studies looked at genetic factors that heighten the chances of autism or ADHD in children.
These studies do not provide enough evidence to rule out that the children would or would not have inherited the genes related to neurodevelopmental disorders, nor any other outside factors. Much more research is needed to rule out correlation by causation.
The following information will look at what is provided in the current research studies concerning the prenatal use of Tylenol and Autism. Note, much more research is needed in concern to autism caused by acetaminophen use during pregnancy.
Why autism and ADHD are on the rise
There is an increase in cases of both autism and ADHD in children. While this is alarming to many, the cause of this rise is not an increase in risk. Instead, the rise of autism is due to increased autism awareness, understanding of how autism affects patients by medical professionals, and increased knowledge of autism in females.
An additional factor that affects adults is the DSM-IV (1994-2004) did not allow the comorbid diagnosis of autism and ADHD. Due to this, many adults are finding out they are also autistic.
Prenatal use of acetaminophen linked to autism & ADHD
Tylenol was initially connected to autism in a 2008 research. The research results revealed that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination was not to be blamed for the rise in autism.
A 2017 study revealed that autism might be a brain injury induced by acetaminophen. It was proposed that acetaminophen use in the infant may be more strongly connected to autism than use in pregnancy.
According to a research paper published in May 2021, fetuses exposed to acetaminophen had a 21% higher chance of developing ADHD symptoms and a 19% higher risk of autism. In a different Johns Hopkins investigation, acetaminophen levels in infant umbilical cord blood were measured and reported. It was shown that children having the highest level of medicine in their cords had a 3.62 times higher chance of developing autism.
In response to the finding that the use of Tylenol during pregnancy is less safe, 91 scientists, healthcare practitioners, and public health experts across the globe issued a joint statement advising pregnant women not to consume Tylenol unless specifically instructed to do so by a medical practitioner.
Class Action Lawsuits for Tylenol and Autism Link
Acetaminophen manufacturers have known about the Tylenol autism link since at least 2008. Acetaminophen product manufacturers have misled parents. Lawsuits are only being considered for prenatal acetaminophen use and its link to autism.
Businesses that produce medications must guarantee their goods’ safety. As a result, class action lawsuits have been filed alleging that the company that sells the drug did not provide adequate warning about the risks of taking the medication while pregnant.