Tylenol During Pregnancy Linked to Autism

A Warning Regarding Acetaminophen (APAP) and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Manufacturers and health professionals have widely promoted acetaminophen, most commonly sold under the brand name Tylenol, as the safest over-the-counter pain relief drug for expectant mothers. It’s a medication many have turned to for the aches, pains, and discomforts associated with pregnancy. The pharmaceutical industry has traditionally assured mothers-to-be of its safety, and it has been routinely recommended. Yet, recent scientific and epidemiological research paints a different picture—one that is deeply concerning. 

Emerging evidence now suggests a potential link between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen, (also known as Tylenol, paracetamol or APAP) and a heightened risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In September 2021, Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a consensus statement and call for precautionary action by 91 scientists, clinicians and health professionals that acetaminophen harms fetal development and increases the risk of some health issues in babies. This group believes pregnant women should not take acetaminophen unless its use is medically indicated, and then to minimize the exposure to the lowest effective dose for the shortest time possible. 

One of the authors of this Tylenol autism study, epidemiologist Ann Z. Bauer, told United Press International, Inc. that acetaminophen crosses the placenta and the blood-brain barrier: “We now have consistent signals from numerous human epidemiologic and experimental in vivo and in vitro studies suggesting acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy increases the risk of the child having adverse neurodevelopmental conditions, to include ADHD and autism.” 

“We now have consistent signals from numerous human epidemiologic and experimental in vivo and in vitro studies suggesting acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy increases the risk of the child having adverse neurodevelopmental conditions, to include ADHD and autism.”

Ann Z. Bauer, epidemiologist

Another scientist, Bernard L. Harlow of Boston University’s School of Public Health and who serves on a team of experts assisting in this litigation, said that he was “quite astonished” at “the consistently strong association” between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and autism. 

These and other similar revelations challenge the longstanding belief in the drug’s complete safety during pregnancy. It’s extremely disconcerting to think that countless women, trusting in the endorsements of this medication and trusting in the retail stores that sell them this medication as safe, may have unknowingly placed their unborn children at risk.

Acetaminophen and Autism Litigation May Finally Result in Government Action

At this time, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has failed in its job to protect the public from dangerous drugs and to ensure people who take medications are fully informed of all risk factors. Currently, the FDA claims it is monitoring and evaluating the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy, but it has taken no action. This is unacceptable. 

Our commitment at Watts Law Firm LLP is first and foremost to the health and well-being of our community members. As advocates for those who may not have a voice, we feel it is our duty to raise awareness about these potentially serious and life-altering findings. We believe that pharmaceuticals produced by manufacturers and sold by retailers should be held to the highest standard of safety, especially when recommended to such a vulnerable group as pregnant women.

The unfolding Tylenol lawsuits are expansive as the growing body of evidence that connects maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy to neurodevelopmental disorders in children continues to accumulate. Currently, we are working on a mass tort litigation involving major drug retailers in the U.S. to ensure that justice is served for those affected. In our work against various dangerous drugs sold as safe by the pharmaceutical industry and retailers, we understand that the FDA does not always act quickly to serve the public interests. This is where mass tort litigation can cause systemic change and lead the way for better public safety. 

Navigating the Emotional and Financial Impact of Autism

Watts Law Firm LLP is currently reviewing cases where mothers took acetaminophen during pregnancy, and their child was subsequently diagnosed with autism or ASD. If you or someone you know might be affected, we’re here to help. Our team, experienced in complex litigations, is diligently examining the details of each case to determine eligibility for joining this mass tort lawsuit. Our goal is to provide justice, seek necessary changes in pharmaceutical endorsements and retail sales, and ensure the safety of medications for future generations.

Many of the parents we’ve engaged with, grappling with a child’s autism diagnosis, often express a deep sense of helplessness. Their frustration is compounded by the emerging scientific insights that remain largely unknown to the broader public. Beyond their indignation towards the pharmaceutical industry and profit-driven retailers, these families face daunting financial burdens. They confront mounting medical expenses, therapies, long-term care, and specialized schooling tailored to their child’s needs. And while the economic strain is significant, it pales in comparison to the emotional distress they endure. Autism’s spectrum is broad; while some exhibit mild symptoms, others may struggle with severe impairments, some even remaining non-verbal throughout their lives.

Empower your APAP-Tylenol Claim

In the ever-evolving landscape of science and medicine, the revelations about acetaminophen underscore the critical role of law in safeguarding the well-being of our society’s most vulnerable—expectant mothers and unborn children. Watts Law Firm LLP stands at the forefront of this battle, wielding the power of the law to amplify the voices of those unheard and bring them justice. It is our solemn duty, as legal advocates, to challenge systems that have failed our communities and demand transparency and accountability from institutions designed to protect us. The struggle faced by countless families blindsided by unforeseen health complications in their children is both heartrending and motivating. 

In joining with Watts Law Firm LLP, our clients share a collective ambition: to deliver justice to those impacted and to redefine the standards of pharmaceutical safety in retail sales. Many parents express a poignant wish: that someone had informed them of this link earlier and that others do not unwittingly encounter the same fate. They are driven by a deep-seated desire to be part of a transformative movement that protects future generations from such diagnoses. Let this legal battle stand as a testament to the power of unified voices demanding change, charting a course towards a more informed and safer tomorrow for everyone.

FAQs about Acetaminophen Litigation and Autism

Is Tylenol Safe To Take During Pregnancy?

While we are not in a position to offer medical advice, we strongly urge pregnant women to consult their physicians regarding any medications they’re considering, even if they are sold over the counter, especially in light of potential side effects and the emerging research. Our mass tort lawsuit presents scientific evidence suggesting a heightened risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children born to mothers who consumed acetaminophen during their pregnancy.

Can I join a Tylenol Class Action lawsuit?

Our legal action against retailers of acetaminophen—often recognized by the brand name Tylenol, and also referred to as paracetamol or APAP—is distinct from a class action lawsuit. Instead, we are representing individual families in which the mother consumed acetaminophen during pregnancy and the child was subsequently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This type of legal pursuit is termed “mass tort litigation.” While it involves a collective of people harmed by the same defendant, each individual’s damages are distinct. We prioritize understanding each client’s unique experience, ensuring their voices are acknowledged and their stories are heard throughout the process.

What is the average settlement of the Tylenol and autism lawsuits? 

The Tylenol APAP mass tort litigation is currently in progress, and as of now, no settlements have been reached. It’s important to note that unlike a class action lawsuit, each of our clients in this mass tort action may have varying degrees and types of damages. In our approach to this litigation, we treat every individual or family’s claim as though it’s the singular case at hand. Ensuring transparent communication, we remain committed to updating our clients on case progress and always make them privy to any potential settlement offers or discussions.

Empower your APAP-Tylenol Claim

Who may be eligible to join our Tylenol APAP mass tort lawsuit against retailers?

If you took Tylenol while pregnant and your child was later diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), you might be eligible to participate in our mass tort litigation against retailers. Our litigation aims are twofold: Firstly, we strive to secure the maximum monetary compensation for our clients to help cover ongoing medical expenses, specialized schooling, long-term care and other necessary support for affected families. Secondly, we are dedicated to amplifying the voices of these families, urging the FDA and relevant corporations to acknowledge and address the significant risks associated with the drug. In this way, our clients can be assured that their struggles are not in vain, and that they can be a part of the change necessary to ensure others do not fall victim to the same fate. 

Disclaimer: This page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

Mikal Watts

Written on behalf of Mikal Watts, and reviewed by Watts Law Firm LLP

Mikal C. Watts is Board-Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is a Martindale-Hubbel AV Rated Lawyer.