Does Tylenol Cause Autism?

Does Tylenol Cause Autism?

Pregnancy is a time of great anticipation and preparation for expectant mothers and their families. However, recent research has raised concerns about the use of Tylenol (or its generic counterpart, acetaminophen) during pregnancy. Over the past few years, more than 26 epidemiological studies have examined the potential connection between prenatal exposure to acetaminophen and the subsequent diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the child.

In September 2021, a consensus statement endorsed by 91 esteemed scientists was published in the prestigious medical journal, Nature Reviews Endocrinology. This statement urged caution among pregnant women regarding the use of acetaminophen during their pregnancy. As a result, families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder after being exposed to acetaminophen in-utero are actively participating in a nationwide Tylenol autism multi-district litigation to hold both manufacturers and retailers accountable for their products.

Dissecting the Scientific Evidence

In this article, we'll shed light on the wealth of scientific evidence and emerging research surrounding the potential correlation between Tylenol usage during pregnancy and the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child who was exposed.

Unfortunately, as of the time of writing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not conducted a formal review of recent studies pertaining to in-utero Tylenol exposure. In fact, the FDA's last formal assessment of scientific data in this context dates back to 2016. Nevertheless, the growing body of research in this area merits careful consideration and ongoing scrutiny for the well-being of expectant mothers and their innocent children.

In the subsequent sections, we will delve deeper into the available evidence and discuss the implications for families affected by these findings. Our goal at Lawsuit Legal News is to provide you with comprehensive and balanced information to help you make informed decisions about the potential link between Tylenol use and your child's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Is There a Tylenol Autism Connection?

The question of whether there is a connection between Tylenol and autism spectrum disorder is one that has gained significant attention in recent years. During pregnancy, around 70% of expectant mothers turn to acetaminophen products for pain relief or to reduce fever.

It's important to recognize that acetaminophen is not limited to Tylenol; it is a common active ingredient found in over 600 medications, including well-known brands such as:

  • Alka-Seltzer Plus,
  • Actifed,
  • Cepacol,
  • DayQuil,
  • Excedrin,
  • Mucinex,
  • NyQuil,
  • Robitussin,
  • Sudafed, and of course,
  • Tylenol.

The body of scientific research on this matter provides substantial evidence that this widely-used pain reliever could potentially pose risks to a developing fetus and has frequently been associated with adverse developmental concerns like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Is Any Amount of Tylenol Safe to Take During Pregnancy?

This is a critical question for all pregnant women. Surprisingly, the specific dosage of Tylenol linked to autism remains undetermined. However, two studies have offered insights into a dose-dependent relationship, indicating that higher levels of acetaminophen exposure correlate with a higher incidence of autism.

Currently, there are no established guidelines or recommendations regarding what constitutes a safe level of acetaminophen consumption during pregnancy. While some leading researchers suggest that occasional use of acetaminophen might not pose significant risks, it's important to note that consistent prenatal exposure to acetaminophen is regarded as a potential contributor to autism. The question of what truly constitutes safe levels of acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy is an area that requires further research and investigation.

In this article, we will review studies that have examined the connection between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and the risk of autism and other developmental disorders. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the current state of research in this field, enabling you to understand the potential link between acetaminophen use during pregnancy and a diagnosis of ASD.

A Review of the Medical Research Studying Whether Tylenol Causes Autism

91 Scientists and Physicians Signed a Consensus Statement About a Tylenol-Autism Connection

In 2021, 91 medical professionals issued a consensus statement on acetaminophen and autism that became a call to action because these researchers couldn’t ignore overwhelming scientific evidence that linked acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy to the diagnosis of ASD or ADHD.

The statement’s authors reported, “The combined weight of animal and human scientific evidence is strong enough for pregnant women to be cautioned by health professionals against its indiscriminate use, both as a single ingredient and in combination with other medications.” 

Additionally, the statement continued, "We recommend that pregnant women should be cautioned at the beginning of pregnancy to: forego APAP (acetaminophen) unless its use is medically indicated and minimize exposure by using the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time."

The emerging research reported in several epidemiological studies and numerous animal studies shows what is believed to be solid evidence establishing a causal link between in-utero exposure to acetaminophen and a later diagnosis of ASD.

Using Tylenol During Pregnancy Can Pose a Serious Risk

The authors of the consensus statement believe that in-utero acetaminophen exposure can negatively impact fetal brain development. The writers also described when the worst impacts happened, “consistent with the epidemiological data, studies have demonstrated that the strongest effects of long-term use and exposure occur at a time equivalent to the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy and the time around birth in humans.”

Finally, the authors suggested a proposed call to action, “We as a society should be able to take protective action when scientific evidence indicates a chemical is of concern, and not wait for unequivocal proof that a chemical is causing harm to our children. Evidence of neurodevelopmental toxicity of any type — epidemiological or toxicological or mechanistic — by itself should constitute a signal sufficient to trigger prioritization and some level of action.”

The scientific research discussed below expresses researchers’ confidence about the link between Tylenol and autism. In light of the overwhelming scientific proof, the team at Lawsuit Legal News is convinced that prenatal acetaminophen exposure results in an negative impact on fetal brain development and an increased risk of autism.

Studies recognize that pregnant women may need to use acetaminophen in specific situations. However, the researchers were most concerned about women who used Tylenol or acetaminophen regularly and for extended periods of time. In fact, researchers recommend that obstetricians should advise pregnant women that using acetaminophen during pregnancy is best only for brief periods of time and at the lowest possible dosage. 

Finally, more research should be conducted to determine what constitutes a safe amount of acetaminophen or acetaminophen exposure for a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

Numerous Studies Indicate How Tylenol May Cause Autism

Since the first concerns were raised about Tylenol use during pregnancy, several scientific studies have been conducted. For example:

Other prior research into the question of whether Tylenol causes autism includes;

Our affiliated law firm created a complete explanation of these international studies dating back to 2014 where you can find more details about several credible studies and the conclusions they reached.

Our mission at Lawsuit Legal News is to provide answers to your questions about important mass tort and dangerous drug issues. For more information about the possible link between Tylenol and autism, check out our Tylenol Autism FAQ page or contact us directly. 

Give us a call at 866-467-0943 or fill out our online contact form for a completely free consultation today. Our legal team has the answers you need.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More

Latest News