Acetaminophen Use During Pregnancy
Tylenol is a brand-name acetaminophen drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer available in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription forms. For decades, pregnant women have been widely advised to take acetaminophen instead of other OTC pain relievers and fever reducers such as aspirin, Aleve (naproxen), and Advil (ibuprofen). The preference for Tylenol was based on known risks and side effects associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs.
Data from various sources suggests that most pregnant women in the United States take Tylenol or another form of acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Now, emerging information suggests that taking Tylenol and other acetaminophen drugs during pregnancy can have adverse effects for the baby, including a higher risk of developing autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some other common drugs containing acetaminophen include Dayquil, Nyquil, Excedrin, some types of Alka Seltzer Plus, some types of Sudafed, and Robitussin.
If you took acetaminophen during your pregnancy and your child has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum, you may be entitled to compensation. The best way to learn more about your options is to talk to an experienced attorney who handles Tylenol during pregnancy cases.
Action Matters makes that easy. Just complete this quick form and we’ll connect you with an attorney in your area.
Tylenol During Pregnancy Linked to Autism, Other Issues
In 2021, 91 scientists, clinicians, and public health officials from around the world called for “precautionary action” relating to the use of acetaminophen (known in most countries as paracetamol) during pregnancy. They warned that:
…epidemiological studies consistently suggest prenatal [acetaminophen] exposure might increase the risk of adverse neurodevelopmental and behavioural outcomes, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, language delay (girls) and decreased intelligence quotient.
This wasn’t entirely new information. The statement was based on a review of previous data. Some of that information dated back years, such as a 2014 study showing that children of women who took acetaminophen while pregnant were 37% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and 29% more likely to be medicated for ADHD.
Time magazine, USAToday and Forbes all reported on the study, but nothing much changed.
The federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed its recommendations on the use of acetaminophen and other pain relievers in 2015, in response to published studies raising concerns about the risks these drugs might present to unborn children. However, the FDA opted not to change its recommendations, citing inconsistent results and design limitations on the studies.
A 2018 study involving more than 130,000 mother-child pairs showed that children who had prolonged exposure to acetaminophen before birth were 20% more likely to be diagnosed with autism and 30% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
As new data emerged and new studies were published, manufacturers of Tylenol and other products containing acetaminophen didn’t warn consumers or change their labeling. In 2021, the Yale School of Public Health said the most up-to-date data available suggested that 50-60% of pregnant women in the U.S. had used acetaminophen.
Does This Mean Pregnant Women Should Never Take Tylenol?
Not necessarily. In certain situations, a doctor may decide that the treatment benefits of taking acetaminophen outweigh the risks. This is a decision that should be made by the pregnant woman in consultation with her physician. However, it’s important to be aware of the risks and make informed decisions.
Researchers have not reached a conclusion about exactly how much acetaminophen during pregnancy is too much, and the impact may be different at different stages of the pregnancy.
Tylenol / Autism Lawsuits
Women who took Tylenol while pregnant and gave birth to children later diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum may be entitled to compensation from the drug manufacturer, and possibly others.
The exact claims you may have will depend on the specifics of your situation and on state law. Some possible claims include:
- Failure to warn pregnant women of the dangers of taking acetaminophen while pregnant
- Breach of express and implied warranties
- Negligent misrepresentation
- Unfair and deceptive trade practices
The type and amount of damages available will depend on a number of factors. Since the Tylenol autism suits are new, we don’t yet have information about how juries are responding to these claims. One of the most significant factors will be how seriously your child was impacted by autism, and what that cost the family (both economically and in non-economic terms). While there are other variables, the parent of a child diagnosed at Level 3 or Level 2 would generally have a stronger case, based on the more significant level of support required.
Who Can File an Acetaminophen Claim?
Different law firms may have different standards for Tylenol lawsuits. For example, some firms may file claims based solely on an ADHD diagnosis, while others will only take on cases involving autism. Currently, Action Matters is connecting mothers who took Tylenol during pregnancy with experienced defective drug litigation attorneys if:
- The mother took Tylenol during pregnancy
- The child she gave birth to was later diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum
- The child is currently under the age of 18
How Long Do I Have to File an Acetaminophen Lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a product liability, negligence, or unfair trade practices claim varies from state to state. Even within a state, some of these claims have longer statutes of limitations than others.
In many cases, the normal timeline is extended if you didn’t know or reasonably couldn’t be expected to know that the product had caused the harm. But, even then, many states have absolute limits. So, it can be difficult to determine exactly how long you have to file a certain type of claim in a particular state.
Your best protection against losing your claim to a statute of limitations is to talk to an experienced product liability attorney who handles Tylenol autism cases in your area. Action Matters is here to help. Contact us now and we’ll connect you with an attorney.
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