Tylenol and Autism: Pregnant Moms Beware
Tylenol is usually recommended for pregnant women to relieve their pain and fever. It’s common for doctors to recommend it instead of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, research has revealed that using Tylenol during pregnancy can lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism in the newborn.
Tylenol is the brand name for acetaminophen, which is just another name for paracetamol. It is manufactured by McNeil Consumer Healthcare.
It is a pain-reliever and fever-reducing agent. It’s one of the most common pain-relieving drugs used worldwide. Unfortunately, for pregnant moms, Tylenol use can cause highly unpleasant outcomes for the unborn child.
Risks of Tylenol to pregnant mothers
The rate of autism spectrum disorder LG among kids has been on the rise for decades now. As many as 1 in 44 children in the US are diagnosed with the condition as early as eight years old. So researchers have been trying to uncover what’s leading to the strange rise in autism diagnosis. Interestingly, several studies have discovered a relationship between Tylenol use during pregnancy and autism in the child.
A study involving 70,000 children found that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy is linked to a 19% higher risk of ASD. In addition, children with the most acetaminophen exposure during pregnancy had a 3.62 times higher risk of ASD than children with the least exposure.
What are the signs of autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a condition that affects brain development and can cause problems with social interaction and daily functioning. It can change how a person perceives the world and interacts with others.
Autism is noticeable in early childhood, even infancy, and parents are likely to perceive that there’s something wrong with the child.
The following are potential symptoms of ASD that may occur in infants and children:
- Lack of smiles or facial expressions that show happiness by six months of age
- Absence of babbling and cooing sounds by 12 months
- Failure to use single words by 16 months
- Failure to use two-word phrases by 24 months
- Loss of previously acquired language or social skills at any age
- Withdrawal from social situations and reluctance to be touched
- Repeating words or phrases without understanding their meaning
- Difficulty making eye contact or expressing emotions through facial expressions
- Highly sensitive to stimuli like light, sound, or touch
- Repetitive movements such as rocking or flapping hands
- Harmful behaviors like biting or head-banging
- Lack of response to pain or temperature changes
- Lack of imaginative play
- Unusual speech patterns that sound robotic or singsong
- Undue focus on specific objects or details
- Difficulty with physical coordination
- Stiff or exaggerated body movements
- Struggles with social interactions
Other risks associated with prenatal Tylenol use
Apart from autism, using Tylenol during pregnancy may lead to other risks, including:
- Low IQ
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Early puberty onset in females
- Decreased executive function
- Language delays
- Male urogenital and reproductive tract anomalies
- Conduct disorders
What to do if your child is affected by prenatal Tylenol use
Every doctor is obligated to inform their patients of the risk of whatever medication they are using. If your physician did not tell you of the dangers of Tylenol while recommending it during pregnancy, they failed in their duty of care to you.
If your child happens to develop autism as a result of prenatal Tylenol use, you can take legal action against the doctor by filing a Tylenol linked to autism lawsuit. Physicians and drugmakers cause irreparable damage when they do not inform you of the risks of these drugs. And as such, they are liable for the harm. Even though the damage is irreparable, it’s your right to take legal action and seek compensation. Also, the action will deter other healthcare providers from being negligent.
Things to consider when using medication during pregnancy
Here’s the golden rule: always communicate with your physician before using any medication during pregnancy. Of course, you will go through pain, and understandably, you may reach for the first pain reliever you can lay your hands on. But don’t. If it’s Tylenol (AKA acetaminophen AKA paracetamol), you already know the risks. But many other drugs are also risky during pregnancy, so always talk with your doctor first.
Sometimes, pain relief medication is unavoidable. Consider the following guidelines to protect yourself and your baby:
- Consult with your physician before using acetaminophen
- Use acetaminophen only when it’s medically necessary, as prescribed by your physician
- Take minimal doses and only for short-term
No medication is 100% safe. They usually come with side effects. The FDA cautions pregnant women to steer clear of ibuprofen and other NSAIDS after the 20th week of pregnancy.
Despite Tylenol’s association with neurodevelopmental disorders, it is still considered the safest pain reliever during pregnancy. Chances are a one-time use will not cause any negative impact. Just ensure you consult with your physician and minimize your usage.