Acetaminophen and Autism/ADHD Lawsuits
Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti, LLP is investigating cases of autism or ADHD in children born to women who took the painkiller acetaminophen while pregnant, or children with autism or ADHD who were treated with acetaminophen during their first 18 months.
Acetaminophen is an active ingredient known for relieving pain and fever. It is found in hundreds of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. Acetaminophen is also sometimes combined with other active ingredients in medicines that treat ailments such as allergies, cough, colds, flu, and sleeplessness. 
Acetaminophen Linked to Autism and ADHD
Medicines containing acetaminophen are common and widely used, including among children and people who are pregnant. An increasing body of recent research links acetaminophen use both before and after birth to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in childhood. 
For example, a 2019 study 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.
Autism vs. ADHD
Autism and ADHD are two distinct conditions, but they have several similarities. Both autism and ADHD affect the development of the brain, and both affect the central nervous system, which is controls movement, language, memory, and skills for socialization and focus.
While some ADHD and ASD symptoms may overlap, there are some differences:
Autism spectrum disorder:
- Affects language skills, behavior, socialization, and learning
- Difficulty in focusing on things they don’t like, fixation on things they do like
- Less social awareness of others, difficulty making eye contact, and verbally articulating their thoughts
- Prefer order and repetition, averse to change
- Affects concentration, ability to sit still, and impulsivity
- Avoidance of tasks that require them to concentrate
- May talk constantly and/or interrupt others speaking
- Aversion to doing the same thing for long periods
Some children can be diagnosed with both conditions at the same time:
- ADHD is the most often coexisting condition in children with autism.
- 30%- 50% of children with ASD also have symptoms of ADHD.
- Up to 25% of children with ADHD have low-level signs of autism.
Get Help from Acetaminophen and Autism & ADHD Lawyers
In spite of growing evidence linking ADHD and autism to exposure to acetaminophen either before or shortly after birth, the makers of acetaminophen-containing products continued to market the medicine to pregnant women. Pharmacies also continue to sell these medications without warning parents of these risks.
If you or someone you love took acetaminophen while pregnant, or treated a young child with acetaminophen, and they were diagnosed with autism or ADHD, we can help. Contact Martin, Harding, & Mazzotti, LLP today for for a no-cost consultation.