Many people use acetaminophen to relieve pain. It is also known as paracetamol and is found in OTC cold and pain medications like Tylenol. This mild pain-relieving drug was once considered safe during pregnancy.
However, in September 2021, Nature Reviews Endocrinology published a consensus statement cautioning against the use of acetaminophen for pregnant women. This statement was drafted by an international team of pediatricians, scientists, neurologists, and obstetricians with expertise in endocrinology, toxicology, and fetal development.
The statement suggests that pregnant women should:
- Avoid using acetaminophen unless it’s medically required
- Consult their healthcare provider regarding acetaminophen use
- Use the lowest effective dose for the shortest duration
The authors of the statement concluded that the use of acetaminophen can pose risks to pregnancy, potentially affecting fetal development and leading to various reproductive, urogenital, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
In this article, we will discuss the adverse effects of Tylenol, legal complaints related to its use, and the process of filing a Tylenol lawsuit if you have been affected.
Health Issues Linked with Tylenol Use
In October 2021, Harvard Health Publishing reported that acetaminophen is an endocrine disruptor. This means the drug interferes with hormones and chemicals involved in healthy growth, potentially causing disruptions.
Acetaminophen can enter the fetal bloodstream through a pregnant woman’s blood when she uses this drug. While it was previously considered safe, there is a growing concern today that acetaminophen can disrupt hormonal processes. This, in turn, impacts the reproductive system and development of a baby’s nervous system.
In specific animal studies, Tylenol exposure has been linked to:
- Irregular ovary development
- Decreased androgens that fuel the development and growth of male reproductive characteristics
Several epidemiologic studies have reported a link between prenatal exposure to Tylenol and nervous or reproductive abnormalities. Scientists have examined the reproductive development of children worldwide whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy.
Some studies indicate that:
- Male children in this group have an increased risk of undescended testicles at birth
- Female children were more likely to experience early puberty
- Both male and female children had a higher likelihood of developing behavioral abnormalities, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), later in life
That aside, Tylenol can lead to other side effects, such as allergic reactions, where patients might have difficulty swallowing or breathing. They may also develop hives and experience severe itching. In some cases, their lips, face, tongue, and throat may swell up. Furthermore, consuming this drug in high doses can lead to severe liver damage.
An Anguished Mother’s Complaint Against Tylenol
Several mothers worldwide are suing the makers of Tylenol in a class-action lawsuit, alleging that its use has led to autism in their babies. In January 2023, NewsNation reported on Karleen DeGroodt, one of the many mothers who claimed that her son developed autism due to her Tylenol use during pregnancy. She had filed a lawsuit against the manufacturers of Tylenol.
Karleen shared that she first started to notice the symptoms in her son Devyn while he was still an infant. She shared that her son didn’t have good eye contact, which served as an initial clue. After that, she noticed that her son had issues with talking and comprehending things in general. It seemed to her that Devyn was living in his bubble.
After a genetic test, Karleen confirmed that her family history was not the cause of Devyn’s autism. Relying on recent research, she asserted that Tylenol could be the reason behind her son’s current condition.
As a parent, Karleen went through a range of emotions during this journey. Watching her son suffer from autism was not a pleasant experience. She realized that this could have been avoided by not using Tylenol during her pregnancy, which further added to her woes.
How To File a Legal Complaint If You’ve Been Affected?
There are many mothers like Karleen DeGroodt who used acetaminophen during their pregnancy and later found that their kids developed neurological disorders. Apart from ADHD and ASD, Tylenol use can lead to several symptoms and disorders, including:
- Conduct disorder
- Language delays
- Decreased IQ levels
- Decreased executive function
- Oppositional defiant disorder
If anyone has used Tylenol during their pregnancy, which has caused their children to suffer, they should consider filing a legal complaint. To do this, it is necessary to get in touch with a lawyer who can build a substantial case and present it to the court.
To ensure the strength of the case, a lawyer will utilize solid data and medical evidence. Therefore, victims need to keep records of every piece of medical data and other evidence to support their claims.
TorHoerman Law states that a Tylenol lawsuit can cover medical bills and costs, lost income, and pain and suffering. It can also cover permanent disability. Since Tylenol litigation is in its initial stages, the settlement amount for the lawsuit is yet to be determined.
However, some lawyers estimate the settlement amount to range between $50,000 and over $500,000. The amount depends on the direction of the litigation and specific details of each case.
No parent would want to see their child suffer from autism or any other neurological disorders because of drug use that could have been avoided. Karleen DeGroodt, in her account, says that by filing a lawsuit, she has done her part in raising awareness about the use of Tylenol during pregnancy.
Women must question the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and use it with the assurance that there will be no side effects. Once affected, women need to gather all medical evidence and seek legal help and counsel to claim justice and compensation for the damages.