Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Linked to ASD and ADHD in Children
Parents of children who ASD and/or ADHD have sued the makers of Tylenol and other acetaminophen-containing drugs. Their claims are based upon scientiﬁc evidence showing use of acetaminophen during pregnancy can cause ASD, ADHD and other neurodevelopment effects in children. Researchers studied children whose mothers took acetaminophen during pregnancy and who were diagnosed with ASD or ADHD. These studies show use of acetaminophen in pregnancy increases the risk of a child developing ASD by up to 51% and of a child developing ADHD by up to 143%.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare developed acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) in 1955 and sold it under the brand name Tylenol. Later generic manufacturers began making and selling acetaminophen under various brand names or store brands.
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and generic versions of the drug. It is commonly used for pain relief and/or fever. Acetaminophen can be purchased over-the-counter. It can be used alone in pain relieving and fever reducing medicines. It is also used in combination with one or more drugs in other medications – such as cough, cold, allergy and arthritis medicines.
What is Acetaminophen?
Acetaminophen was not tested for safety during pregnancy.
Many people assume acetaminophen was tested for safety in pregnancy, but that is not true. McNeil (the original manufacturer) did not test acetaminophen for safety in pregnant women or young children before putting it on the market.
Independent medical researchers who are not affiliated with the drug companies have studied acetaminophen. Their studies show acetaminophen use in pregnancy increases the risk of ASD and ADHD in children. In December 2021, 91 clinicians, research scientists, and public health professionals from across the globe published a Consensus Statement in the prestigious journal Nature sound the alarm about prenatal acetaminophen use and neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Learn more about this medical consensus.
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