Tylenol ADHD

According to a recent study, children whose mothers took Tylenol or other brands of acetaminophen during pregnancy may be more likely to be diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Tylenol Lawsuit Consultation

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating the possible link between Tylenol use by expectant mothers and ADHD in children. Our attorneys are seeking to hear from anyone concerned that acetaminophen contributed to their child’s ADHD diagnosis. Please contact our office today at (888) 632-9988.

Tylenol and Pregnancy

Tylenol is one of the most used medications in the world and has long been considered safe during pregnancy. In fact, estimates show that up 60% to 70% of expectant mothers use Tylenol or another form of acetaminophen while they’re pregnant.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration classifies acetaminophen in Pregnancy Category B.

Drugs in this category have not demonstrated a fetal risk. However, there are no controlled studies in pregnant women, or animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect (other than a decrease in fertility) that was not confirmed in controlled studies in women in the first trimester (and there is no evidence of risk in later trimesters).

There are currently no pain relievers included in Pregnancy Risk Category A, which is reserved for medications that have been deemed completely “safe.”

Tylenol and ADHD: The Research

A new study conducted in Spain suggests the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy might increase a child’s risk of ADHD.

The authors of the study analyzed medical records involving more than 73,000 mother-child pairs across Europe. They found that children exposed to acetaminophen in-utero were 21% more likely to have ADHD than those who weren’t.

“The most consistent pattern of results was observed for the association between prenatal acetaminophen exposure and ADHD symptoms,” the researchers wrote. While the association was seen among both boys and girls, the link was slightly stronger in boys.

The findings do not prove that Tylenol use in pregnancy directly causes ADHD, but they do reveal a need for further study. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that research has hinted at a link between children with ADHD and acetaminophen use among expectant mothers.

In 2018, a metanalysis of seven studies involving 132,178 pairs of mothers and children suggested excessive use of acetaminophen during pregnancy increased the risk of ADHD by 30%. Another study analyzing samples of umbilical cord blood obtained from 996 mother-child pairs linked higher acetaminophen levels to a 2 to 3-fold increased risk of ADHD diagnosis.

What to Know About ADHD

ADHD currently affects 1 in 20 children, but the incidence is rising.

Children with ADHD may exhibit higher-than-normal activity levels, have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time, and have short attention spans. While any child will experience these issues from time to time, hyperactivity and inattention among kids with ADHD are noticeably greater than others in their age group and frequently cause distress and/or problems functioning at home, school, or with friends.

Studies have found that a combination of behavioral therapy and medication works best for most people with ADHD, particularly those with moderate to severe symptoms. Although behavioral therapy requires careful coordination, it can help children learn how to control their behavior and make good choices.

There are two main types of ADHD medications: stimulants and non-stimulants. Some kids experience dramatic relief of symptoms with medication, and this relief continues with ongoing treatment. However, others may experience only partial relief, or the medication may eventually stop working

Worried that Tylenol Caused Your Child’s ADHD?

You may be eligible to take legal action if your child was exposed to Tylenol in-utero and later diagnosed with ADHD. To discuss filing a Tylenol lawsuit with an attorney at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, please call (888) 632-9988.

  1. American Family Physician (October 2014) “Over-the-Counter Medications in Pregnancy” https://www.aafp.org/afp/2014/1015/p548.html
  2. European Journal of Epidemiology (May 2021) “Prenatal and postnatal exposure to acetaminophen in relation to autism spectrum and attention-deficit and hyperactivity symptoms in childhood: Meta-analysis in six European population-based cohorts” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10654-021-00754-4
  3. Cleveland Clinic (June 2018) “Pregnancy: Does Acetaminophen Heighten Risk for Autism, ADHD?” https://health.clevelandclinic.org/pregnancy-does-acetaminophen-heighten-risks-for-autism-adhd/
  4. Johns Hopkins (November 2019) “Taking Tylenol during pregnancy associated with elevated risks for autism, ADHD” https://hub.jhu.edu/2019/11/05/acetaminophen-pregnancy-autism-adhd/
  5. American Psychiatric Association (July 2017) “What is ADHD” https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/adhd/what-is-adhd
Last Modified: May 20, 2022

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