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Tylenol Autism Lawsuit


What is Tylenol?

Tylenol® contains a fever-reducing, pain-relieving medication called acetaminophen (also called “paracetamol” or APAP internationally. It is sold under the brand-name Tylenol® by Johnson &Johnson. Acetaminophen is also an ingredient in over 600 prescription and over-the-counter medications, including many generic store-brand versions of Tylenol.

What is the Problem?

Tylenol passes through the placenta to developing fetus during pregnancy. When the fetus metabolizes Tylenol, it creates a toxic compound called N-acetylcysteine (NAC).

Study Finds 20% Higher Risk of Autism for Prolonged Use of Acetaminophen During Pregnancy

In 2018, a scientific analysis published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that prolonged use of acetaminophen was linked to a 20% higher risk of autism. Small amounts of acetaminophen were not linked to a risk.n Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Walmart Hit By Acetaminophen Autism Lawsuit in Washington State

In June 2022, a woman from Seattle named Tiffany R. filed a Tylenol autism lawsuit against Walmart. Both of her children were diagnosed with ADHD, and one of the children is also likely autistic, after the mother used acetaminophen during pregnancy.

She said she used acetaminophen regularly, including “almost every day towards the end of her second trimester and during her third trimester,” due to hip problems and food poisoning.

The Tylenol Autism Lawsuit was filed on June 6, 2022 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington — Case Number 2:22-cv-00777.


Experts Recommend Caution When Using Acetaminophen in Pregnancy

In September 2021, the medical journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a warning: “Paracetamol use during pregnancy — a call for action” regarding the potential risks of using Tylenol (acetaminophen) during pregnancy.

The warning came from a group of 91 experts who recommended that pregnant women take “precautionary action” when using acetaminophen. Their concerns were based on a growing body of scientific evidence suggesting that the long-term use of acetaminophen during pregnancy may be linked to negative fetal outcomes.

Other Studies Linking Autism and Tylenol During Pregnancy

For example, a study of 966 mother-infant pairs from the Boston Birth Cohort found that babies who had the highest levels of acetaminophen in their umbilical cord blood at birth were 3-times more likely to have autism by the time they were 9 years old.

Since 2013, at least six scientific studies in Europe have found a link between autism and/or ADHD and the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy. The conclusions of these studies were based on outcomes for over 73,000 mother-child pairs.

High Levels of Acetaminophen in Cord Blood Linked to Higher Risk of Autism

In 2020, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that babies who were born with higher levels of acetaminophen in their blood were more likely to later be diagnosed with autism.

The researchers wrote that umbilical cord “biomarkers of fetal exposure to acetaminophen were associated with significantly increased risk of childhood [autism] in a dose-response fashion.”

In 2019, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that babies with high levels of acetaminophen in their umbilical cord blood were 3-times more likely to be autistic compared to babies born with lower levels of acetaminophen.

Tylenol Use in Pregnancy Linked to Behavior Problems in Kids

Women who took Tylenol in their 2nd trimester were more likely to have a child with behavior problems, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics in October 2016. The study found:

  • Conduct problems (42% increased risk)
  • Hyperactivity (31% increased risk)
  • Emotional problems (29% increased risk)
  • Overall behavioral difficulties (46% increased risk)

In April 2014, another study published by JAMA Pediatrics found that pregnant women who used Tylenol were 37% more likely to have a baby with hyperactivity issues and 13% more likely to have a child with ADHD behaviors by the age of 7 years old. The conclusions were based on 64,000 births in Denmark from 1996 to 2002.

Johnson & Johnson Pays $6.3 Million Tylenol Class Action Settlement

In January 2020, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay a $6.3 million class action lawsuit settlement for charging more money for Infants’ Tylenol than Children’s Tylenol, when both products had the same concentration of acetaminophen.

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a broad range of neurological disorders, usually involving challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and communication. The symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.

It is called a “spectrum” because the symptoms vary widely. Some autistic people live independently, while others need assistance for daily tasks. There are several disorders on the spectrum, including:

  • Autistic Disorder (not otherwise specified)
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • High-functioning autism
  • Pervasive developmental disorder (PDD-NOS)
  • Childhood disintegrative disorder

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