Autism / Acetaminophen Usage While Pregnant

Autism / Acetaminophen Usage While Pregnant

Williams Law Group is investigating cases of autism in children born to women who took the painkiller acetaminophen while pregnant.

Acetaminophen and Autism Overview

Medicines containing acetaminophen are among the most widely used painkillers in the country. They are considered safe for consumers of all ages, from infancy to adulthood, including pregnant women and infants. An estimated 70% of women use acetaminophen while pregnant.A growing body of research links prenatal acetaminophen use to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to one study which measured the amount of acetaminophen in newborn umbilical cord blood, children with the highest levels of acetaminophen in their cord blood were nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD later in childhood and more than 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD compared to children with lower levels of acetaminophen exposure.

Makers of acetaminophen-containing products ignored evidence of the increased risk for ASD diagnosis. They also failed to warn pregnant women about the risks acetaminophen posed to their unborn babies and young children.

If you have a child diagnosed with autism who was exposed to acetaminophen before birth, you may be entitled to compensation.

Acetaminophen and Autism & ADHD — What’s the Connection?

Acetaminophen is an aspirin-free pain reliever and fever reducer. The medicine is in over 600 products.Acetaminophen use dramatically increased in the U.S. in the 1980s after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended stopping prenatal and pediatric use of aspirin. Epidemiological evidence linked aspirin in children under 16 to Reye’s syndrome, a rare condition that can cause serious brain and liver damage.
One of the first studies to link acetaminophen to autism was published in the journal Autism in 2008 by Stephen T. Schultz and colleagues. Researchers surveyed parents of 83 children with autism and 80 without about whether their children were treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen after receiving the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccination. Researchers found that ibuprofen use was not associated with an increased risk of autism, but acetaminophen was.
Schultz questioned whether the increase in autism diagnoses since the 1980s may be related to the CDC’s recommendations to replace prenatal and pediatric use of aspirin with acetaminophen.The Mounting Evidence Linking Acetaminophen to Autism & ADHD  Since Schultz’s 2008 theories, more evidence has come out linking acetaminophen to ADHD and/or autism.Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers published a study in JAMA Psychology in 2019 that analyzed umbilical cord blood samples from the Boston Birth Cohort for acetaminophen. They found that children whose cord blood samples contained the highest levels of acetaminophen were nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD and more than 3.5 times more likely to have autism than children with cord blood samples with the lowest levels of the medicine.Large Studies Confirm Acetaminophen and ADHD, Autism Link.  A study published in a 2018 edition of the American Journal of Epidemiology involved questionnaires from 132,738 pairs of mothers and children with follow-ups from 3 to 11 years. Researchers found that children born to women who used acetaminophen for an extended time while pregnant had a 20% greater risk of autism and a 30% greater risk of ADHD. Despite these findings, the manufacturers of acetaminophen-containing products continued to market acetaminophen to pregnant women—and pharmacies continued to sell it to them—without warning women of the risks acetaminophen posed to unborn and young children.

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