Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects communication, social interaction, and behavior. It is typically diagnosed in early childhood, but the signs can be difficult to spot, especially for parents unfamiliar with the condition.

While the exact causes of autism are still unknown, recent studies have linked prenatal use of acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, to a significantly increased risk of cognitive issues in children, including autism.

If you have observed signs of autism in your child after taking Tylenol during pregnancy, you may be able to seek compensation in a Tylenol child autism lawsuit. A drug injury lawyer from Fieger Law can investigate your case to help you understand your legal options.

Acetaminophen and Autism in Children

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is pain reliever and fever reducer found in many over-the-counter medications, including Tylenol and NyQuil, as well as common prescription medications such as Vicodin.

Tylenol in particular has been a doctor-recommended pain medication for pregnant women, thanks to a 1980 CDC recommendation for those who are pregnant to avoid taking aspirin due to a belief that it could cause Reye’s Syndrome. However, recent studies have linked prenatal use of acetaminophen to autism in children.

A 2019 study from Johns Hopkins University found that higher levels of acetaminophen in umbilical cord blood were associated with a significantly increased risk of autism and ADHD in children.

A 2021 study also found that children prenatally exposed to acetaminophen were at an increased risk for autism. Compared to non-exposed babies, children whose mothers took acetaminophen during pregnancy were 19% more likely to have borderline Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and 21% more likely to have clinical ASD.

If you believe your child’s autism or ADHD may be due to prenatal acetaminophen use, seek legal advice from a knowledgeable attorney at Fieger Law. We can investigate your case and help you seek compensation for any damages your family may have suffered.

Signs of Autism

Symptoms of autism vary widely from person to person, but there are some common signs of autism in children that parents and caregivers can look out for, including:

  • Delayed language development: Young children with autism may not babble or speak their first words at generally accepted developmental milestones. Studies suggest that children should say their first words between 12 and 18 months on average, while children with ASD may not do so until 36 months. They may also have difficulty maintaining a conversation and have trouble understanding gestures, body language, and facial expressions.
  • Repetitive behaviors: Children with autism may display repetitive behaviors, such as hand flapping, spinning objects, or repeating words or phrases.
  • Mental inflexibility: Children with ASD may have difficulty adapting to changes in routine or environment. They may become excessively inconsolable, upset, or have a tantrum if their routine is disrupted.
  • Sensory processing challenges: Young children with ASD may have sensitivity to sensory input, such as loud noises, bright lights, or certain textures. This may manifest as extreme picky eating, avoiding eye contact, covering their ears, or refusing to wear clothes with certain textures. However, some children may seek sensory input by continuously sniffing or staring at specific objects.
  • Limited range of interests: Children with autism may become intensely interested in one particular subject, such as dinosaurs, trains, or math, and they may want to talk about it constantly, even if it is not appropriate for the situation. They may also become fixated on specific objects, such as a toy car or a particular type of food, and may become upset if they cannot access it.
  • Avoidance of social situations: If your child has ASD, they may not notice or play with other children or engage in imaginative play such as make-believe, dancing, singing, or interactive games like pat-a-cake.

Who Can Receive Compensation for Acetaminophen-Induced Autism?

If you believe your child’s autism is due to taking acetaminophen while pregnant, you may be eligible for compensation. Drug manufacturers and healthcare professionals are responsible for disclosing any risks posed by the drugs they recommend. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable for the harm done.

If your doctor prescribed an OTC acetaminophen product or you consistently took acetaminophen throughout your pregnancy, and the package did not have a warning about potential autism risks, you may be eligible to file a product liability claim. This can help you recover the financial costs of raising a child with autism.

However, you must be able to prove that it is more likely than not that your acetaminophen usage caused your child’s condition. You may need to provide evidence such has:

  • Medical records demonstrating the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and a subsequent diagnosis of a neurological condition in the child.
  • Records from the child’s psychiatrist or therapist that detail the treatment administered for symptoms related to ADHD, ASD, or other neurological disorders.
  • Medical documentation and transcriptions from healthcare providers that outline the child’s diagnosis connected to acetaminophen usage during pregnancy, including any records of incidental exposure to acetaminophen.

Schedule a Free Confidential Consultation Today

Seeking compensation from a negligent drug manufacturer can help you pay for your child’s medical bills and specialized care related to their autism. The attorneys at Fieger Law have over 70 years of experience fighting for injured victims’ rights all over the U.S. and have won millions for clients in product liability cases.

We will work on your behalf to determine if Tylenol caused your child’s autism and help you seek maximum compensation for your child and family. Contact us today to schedule a confidential, free consultation to discuss your case.