A growing body of research shows that maternal use of acetaminophen (Tylenol) during pregnancy may increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children exposed to the medication in utero. For decades, Tylenol has been marketed as safe for use by pregnant women and has carried no warnings about the possibility of acetaminophen exposure increasing a child’s risk of developing autism or ADHD. If you or your child has been diagnosed with either of these developmental disorders and you believe Tylenol use in pregnancy to be the cause, do not hesitate to call Consumer Safety Watch. We know how devastating a drug-related injury or illness can be for affected individuals and their loved ones and we can help you determine whether you may be eligible to file a Tylenol injury claim.
So far, there have been more than 100 product liability lawsuits filed by families with children who have been diagnosed with autism or ADHD following exposure to Tylenol during pregnancy. Each Tylenol lawsuit raises similar claims that Johnson & Johnson and major retailers that sold generic versions of the popular pain reliever failed to provide expectant mothers with sufficient warnings about the potential health risks acetaminophen (Tylenol) may pose to an unborn child. According to a growing number of claims filed in state and federal courts across the country, manufacturers knew or should have known for years about evidence linking Tylenol to developmental disorders like autism and ADHD, yet failed to disclose this information to consumers. Considering the unrivaled popularity of Tylenol and the fact that the pain reliever was actively marketed as safe for pregnant women, it is ultimately expected that tens of thousands of Tylenol claims will be brought in the coming months and years.
As the Tylenol litigation continues to grow, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) earlier this year asked attorneys representing affected families to submit an example of an acetaminophen pregnancy warning that manufacturers could have included on the drug label. Last week, plaintiffs submitted a letter to the court with this language:
Autism/ADHD: Some studies show that frequent use of this product during pregnancy may increase your child’s risk of autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If you use this product during pregnancy to treat your pain and/or fever, use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency.
According to the plaintiffs’ letter, the final clause, “use the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time and at the lowest possible frequency,” comes right from the European Union’s drug label for paracetamol, which is the name used for acetaminophen in Europe. The letter goes on to say that the proposed wording is not the only way manufacturers could have warned pregnant women about Tylenol’s pregnancy risks, stating that other language could have been used to satisfy their duty to warn.
Given the possible increased risk of birth defects, developmental disorders, and other complications and risks to a developing fetus, it is vital that consumers and healthcare providers carefully consider the safety of medicine use in pregnancy. Evidence of a link between maternal use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and an increased risk of autism or ADHD in exposed children is particularly devastating, given the fact that Tylenol is one of the few pain relievers that has generally been considered safe for use throughout pregnancy. If you took Tylenol while pregnant and your child has since been diagnosed with autism, ADHD, or another developmental disorder, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your child’s injuries and pain and suffering. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to find out whether you may have a legal claim.