There are potential risks to the fetus by taking acetaminophen products like Tylenol® while pregnant.

Most people don’t think twice before taking a Tylenol®. This is a medication that is in millions of medicine cabinets across the country and around the world, and it is generally considered to be helpful and not harmful. Even when pregnant, most women will have been told they can use Tylenol® if they need some pain relief without worrying about potential side effects.

“We have sufficient data from multiple populations and studies to say that acetaminophen is not as safe as it is considered.” 1

Unfortunately, recent data have begun to show that Tylenol® may not be in fact as safe as assumed for use by pregnant women.2 More and more evidence has started to pile up connecting the use of Tylenol® during pregnancy with developmental disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Legal action is already underway regarding this matter and potential victims are encouraged to consider their options as the process continues to play out.

Tylenol while pregnant: cause for concern for the baby

While a potential link between Tylenol® and developmental disorders is starting to get more and more attention from the general public, concerns about this kind of connection are not new. In fact, research started to be performed in this area all the way back in 2008 by Stephen T. Schultz.

A big development in this area came in 2014 when a study was published by the highly respected Journal of the American Medical Association. From there, more studies and papers have continued to surface, and 2022 has seen some serious legal developments take place – moving toward wider legal action on the behalf of countless potential plaintiffs across the country.

Looking Beyond Tylenol®

While it is easy to focus on one single brand name in a situation like this, the concern for harm is actually much broader. Tylenol® is just one of many medications on the market that contains acetaminophen, the ingredient at the center of the legal debate about the medication, pregnancy and developmental disorders.

Liability for pharmaceutical retailers that failed to warn of all the risks

As the legal process continues to play out, it’s entirely possible that more and more companies will become entangled in the process, beyond just Johnson & Johnson (the maker of Tylenol®). In fact, the first lawsuits are against retailers who sold acetaminophen products to pregnant customers without warning them of the risks.

“Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in “more than 600 medications used to relieve mild to moderate pain and reduce fever.” 3

There is nothing simple about a mass tort case. In fact, the name itself – “mass tort” – can be a little confusing. In plain language, a mass tort case is one where a large number of victims have been harmed. Sometimes, these kinds of cases wind up as a class-action lawsuit, but this emerging suit in particular is turning into a Multi-district litigation (MDL) case. In such a situation, there are many lawsuits that are all handled by their own lawyers, but an overseeing committee is placed in charge of the process since these various suits are all so similar. (Think, the Cleveland opioid MDL case.)

There are two reasons why litigation is so important in these kinds of cases where a large corporation may have been negligent and put people in danger as a result. First and foremost, it’s critical that the victims of this type of case get the compensation they deserve. Those victims are living with the very real consequences of what the company at fault has done, and they deserve to be compensated as a result. That money can be used for expenses like medical bills, therapy, and medication, in addition to accounting for pain and suffering. Given the permanent impact of something like a developmental disorder, it’s crucial that impacted families are able to receive the compensation that is rightfully theirs.

Accountability: A personal injury lawsuit for prenatal Tylenol® / ADHD / Autism injuries can help prevent other people from being hurt in the future.

Mass tort law helps manage a group of similar lawsuits. The more lawsuits, the more effectively companies’ behaviors can be influenced.

Also, there is the preventive side of mass tort litigation. By holding a corporation responsible for what it has done, it will be less likely that other corporations moving forward will be willing to take such chances. That’s a simple enough concept to understand – if corporations continue to get away with being negligent, it’s certain that they will continue along the same path moving forward.

Following the appropriate legal steps is important for anyone who may have been impacted by the use of Tylenol® during pregnancy. Contacting a mass tort attorney to learn more about the situation and to consider the possible next steps is a logical path to follow for any potential victims.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that if your child has symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, you should contact a healthcare professional to have your child screened for ASD.

  • Info about screening for ASD is available on the CDC Website.
  • There is no cure for ASD, but there are autism therapies that can greatly help a child’s development.

Taking Tylenol® (Acetaminophen / Paracetamol) while pregnant can affect the child’s brain development. 4 5

“We have sufficient data from multiple populations and studies to say that acetaminophen is not as safe as it is considered.” 6

Prenatal acetaminophen consumption has been connected to:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Language delay (in girls)
  • Decreased Intelligence Quotient (IQ).7

We Are Warriors For The Injured

Our only goal is justice for our clients, whatever that means for them.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) attributable to acetaminophen taken during pregnancy, now is the time to seek legal assistance.

You need experienced attorneys on your side.

Our Austin and San Antonio mass tort lawyers have successfully represented dozens of victims injured by dangerous pharmaceuticals and other hazardous substances. That’s exactly why we were founded.

The legal team at Justinian and Associates has years of experience dealing with personal injury cases involving health conditions like ASD, and medications that are far more dangerous than represented by the companies selling them.

We have the knowledge, experience, resources and trained investigators to take on large adversaries like billion dollar manufacturing companies.

All we do is fight for injured victims.  And we do not accept defeat.

Unless we get you money for your injuries, you don’t pay us a dime.

Call, text or email us for a free consultation, with no obligation.

(855) 452-5529

[email protected]

Speak to an Austin personal injury attorney from Justinian & Associates (not a “screener” or paralegal) to understand your rights.


[1] A Systematic Review of the Link Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Acetaminophen: A Mystery to Resolve, interpreting data from Parker SE, Collett BR, Werler MM: Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and childhood behavioural problems: Discrepancies between mother- and teacher-reported outcomes. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2020, 34:299-308. 10.1111/ppe.12601).

[2] L Blaser JA, Allan GM. Acetaminophen in pregnancy and future risk of ADHD in offspring. Can Fam Physician. 2014 Jul;60(7):642. PMID: 25022638; PMCID: PMC4096264.

[3] Paracetamol use during pregnancy—a call for precautionary action, Bauer, A.Z., Swan, S.H., Kriebel, D., Liew, Z., Taylor, H.S., Bornehag, C.G., Andrade, A.M., Olsen, J., Jensen, R.H., Mitchell, R.T. and Skakkebaek, N.E., 2021. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 17(12), pp.757-766.

[4] A Systematic Review of the Link Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Acetaminophen: A Mystery to Resolve, interpreting data from Parker SE, Collett BR, Werler MM: Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and childhood behavioural problems: Discrepancies between mother- and teacher-reported outcomes. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2020, 34:299-308. 10.1111/ppe.12601).

[5] Paracetamol use during pregnancy—a call for precautionary action, Bauer, A.Z., Swan, S.H., Kriebel, D., Liew, Z., Taylor, H.S., Bornehag, C.G., Andrade, A.M., Olsen, J., Jensen, R.H., Mitchell, R.T. and Skakkebaek, N.E., 2021. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 17(12), pp.757-766.

[6] A Systematic Review of the Link Between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Acetaminophen: A Mystery to Resolve, interpreting data from Parker SE, Collett BR, Werler MM: Maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy and childhood behavioural problems: Discrepancies between mother- and teacher-reported outcomes. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2020, 34:299-308. 10.1111/ppe.12601).

[7] Paracetamol use during pregnancy—a call for precautionary action, Bauer, A.Z., Swan, S.H., Kriebel, D., Liew, Z., Taylor, H.S., Bornehag, C.G., Andrade, A.M., Olsen, J., Jensen, R.H., Mitchell, R.T. and Skakkebaek, N.E., 2021. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 17(12), pp.757-766.