Welcome to the official Newsletter of Advanced Medical Care
As you may recall, there is some concern that acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) may cause autism. Apparently, children exposed to acetaminophen in utero or as babies have a higher incidence of autism. Although this type of association does not prove causation, there is a legitmate concern.
There have been a number of studies showing this connection, published in some pretty respectable journals including:
JAMA Pediatrics that said “Research data suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disruptor, and abnormal hormonal exposures in pregnancy may influence fetal brain development.”
JAMA Psychiatry that found a 362% higher risk of autism for those with the highest level of exposure to acetaminophen.
Behavioral Science that concluded acetaminophen consumption before the age of 2 was a "significant contributor to the risk of autism spectrum disorder among males in the US."
I wrote a detailed article about this issue in April of 2021. In addition to the autism concern, acetaminophen has some very interesting effects on adults which we also discuss in the article. You can read the entire article here.
Six months after I wrote that article, warning the public about this potentially very serious concern, a Consensus Statement, with the same warning about acetaminophen was issued. It was signed by 91 scientists, clinicians and public health professionals. I wrote a second article discussing the Consensus Statement and you can read that article here. Many of these 91 signers had high credibility. For example one of the scientists signing the Consensus Statement is from the Yale School of Public Health.
Many families are now suing the manufacturers, Johnson and Johnson, and the sellers of acetaminophen and Tylenol. They claim that:
Scientific evidence was available and Johnson & Johnson knew or should have known that acetaminophen in Tylenol could increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder and ADHD.
Johnson and Johnson should have warned the public about the risks of taking Tylenol during pregnancy.
Tylenol and acetaminophen are marketed as safe to take during pregnancy even though evidence exists that they increase the risk of autism and ADHD.
As of July 12, 2023, there have been 136 lawsuits filed that are now pending in federal court.
Johnson and Johnson, and other defendants have tried to dismiss these cases several times, and so far, the judge has denied all those motions to dismiss. As I understand it, all of these individual cases have now been transfered to New York, to be tried as a single case.
Let's Be Fair And Balanced
There have also been a number of reports and experts denying any such connection between acetaminophen and autism or ADHD. Some of the same journals that have published studies showing this danger, have also published studies saying no danger has been proven.
Certainly, at this point, there are credible scientists on both sides of this issue.
What's A Parent To Do?
Parents have to make a decision in the absence of proof. Acetaminophen came on the market before FDA required the extensive proof of safety that is required for new drugs currently. It has a long track record of use, but autism rates are sky high now, compared to before acetaminophen gained widespread use. It is not an easy decision to make.
Parents are entitled to know all the facts as they make decisions like this. Warning labels would help inform everybody, that a concern exists. Parents and others can do their own research and draw their own conclusions. If parents still elect to use Tylenol with their kids, fine. But they should have the information to make their own decision.
Warning labels are one of the things being asked for in the 136 federal lawsuits. They are demanding warning labels, so other parents can make an informed decision. Johnson and Johnson is opposed to warning labels. They claim there is no basis for concern. And of course, warning labels would hurt sales.
Is it a surprise that the maker of Tylenol denies there is a problem? To put this in perspective, we should reflect on the fact that:
4 out of 5 of the major U.S. tobacco companies still deny in court that smoking causes cancer,
and all 5 deny second hand smoke is harmful.
So of course Johnson and Johnson is not going to see a problem with their product, and I hope they are right. But until this issue is settled, at the very least, the public is entitled to warning labels.
Take care and BE HEALTHY!
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