Tylenol, or acetaminophen, is a medication for reducing fever and pain relief. Women often use it during pregnancy. Studies have shown that exposure to Tylenol during pregnancy can lead to harmful effects. There seems to be an increased risk of a baby developing certain disorders when the mother takes Tylenol during pregnancy.

Could a strong enough link exist between Tylenol and autism for someone to file a Tylenol autism lawsuit? Researchers have found some interesting results.

Up To 30% Increased Risk for Autism

Studies have shown that, even in small doses, baby development may be affected by exposure to Tylenol. The American Journal of Epidemiology published a recent study about the effects of prenatal exposure to the drug. Studies with rats and mice have shown that Tylenol has slowed the production of testosterone, a hormone essential for brain development.

The study analyzed certain disorders, such as autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study found that intake of Tylenol during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk for these disorders, including ASD (20% increased risk) and ADHD (30% increased risk).

However, even if a mother ingested Tylenol while pregnant and her child was diagnosed with autism, the medication may not have been the cause. Researchers say the increased risks described in the study may be due to other environmental factors.

Only a limited number of studies on the link between Tylenol and ASD and ADHD are available for analysis, and some studies have a bias. More research is needed to find the root cause of these disorders.

The Higher the Exposure, the Higher the Risk

In addition, there was a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University. This study showed that newborns with a high level of exposure to Tylenol had a higher risk of being diagnosed with ADHD or ASD. The researchers analyzed a 20-year study of early life factors.

This study did not rely on the mothers to self-report their use of Tylenol. Instead, the researchers in this study reviewed the cord blood of the infants themselves. All of the samples viewed by the researchers contained some level of the drug. This shows how often women ingest Tylenol during pregnancy.

After examining these cord blood samples, researchers found that children whose samples contained the drug at the highest levels were almost three times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD or ADHD. This number is compared to samples with children who had the lowest levels of the drug in their samples.

The researchers did state in these studies that this does not mean that Tylenol causes the disorders. Instead, more researchers must conduct more studies to determine the cause. The researchers here wanted to make people aware of the risk factors. They want a pregnant woman to understand the factors and weigh the risks when deciding to ingest Tylenol during their pregnancy.

Early Exposure Could Inhibit Critical Development

In addition, Nature Reviews Endocrinology also cited a study whereby researchers suggest exposure to Tylenol might change the development of the fetus. This exposure to the drug during critical fetal development could increase the risks of certain neurological disorders.

Tylenol disrupts the endocrine system. This can interfere with the activity of certain hormones that are essential for healthy development in the brain of the fetus.

Tylenol is known to cross the placenta and the blood–brain barrier. This might make pregnant women and their fetuses more vulnerable to the toxic effects of the drug.

The developing human brain is uniquely vulnerable to exposure to these toxic chemicals. If exposed during critical development, the brain can be negatively affected by certain chemicals. These chemicals can cause permanent brain injury, even at low levels.

Studies have shown that exposure to Tylenol during pregnancy can be associated with a number of disorders, primarily ADHD, ASD, lower IQ, cerebral palsy, language delays, oppositional–defiant disorder, and conduct disorders. These studies have also shown that short-term use of acetaminophen will have less of a risk to the brain than long-term use of the drug.

All of these studies conclude that prenatal exposure to Tylenol increases the risk of developing neurological disorders later in life, especially ADHD and ASD. There could be a link between Tylenol and autism. These studies cannot conclude that Tylenol causes these disorders. There are a lot of other environmental and medical factors that affect these disorders as well.

Many more studies need to be completed to finish this research. At this point, researchers want all pregnant women to be aware of the risk factors. Pregnant women should understand this when deciding to ingest Tylenol while pregnant.

Many women have filed a Tylenol autism lawsuit because their child was diagnosed with autism after they took Tylenol while pregnant. If you believe this has happened to you, Action Matters is here to help. Contact us today.