Acetaminophen: A Catalyst to Autism

In 2005, I was told to consider “out-of-home placement” for my son David. He was four years old and had been diagnosed with “worst-case-scenario for autism” by specialists. He was violent, self-injurious and had a tendency to wander.

The recommendation for out-of-home placement inspired me to schedule a Pharmacology Clinic where a team of child experts would meet with me to discuss behavior meds. In preparation for the Pharmacology Clinic, I was asked to put my son’s medical file in chronological order.

In doing so, I noticed a distinct regression after his MMR vaccine. The regression included a loss of language, eye contact and marked the onset of violent behavior. His pediatrician eventually conceded and admitted that vaccines had in fact triggered David’s autism.

Acetaminophen and Vaccination

My desire to understand why my son regressed into autism following the MMR vaccine has led me to read more books, journals and articles than I can recall. I’ve read so much, in fact, it all seems to be blurred together with the exception of one critically important piece of information: the country of Cuba is 99 percent vaccinated and has almost 300 percent less autism than the U.S. Why is this?

The answer is actually quite simple. Cuban children receive fewer vaccines than American children. Cuba manufactures many of the vaccines their children receive and they have higher safety standards than the U.S. They have limited exposure to genetically modified foods (GMOs) and do not allow the sale of acetaminophen over the counter. [1]

From what I can gather, Cuban children receive 37 vaccines by age 18 while American children receive 69 vaccines (soon to be 72) by age 18. Cuba also has more rigorous safety standards for vaccines than the U.S. In 2003-2004 Cuba began manufacturing their own diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTwP) vaccine because the imported batches did not meet their safety standards.

On one hand, Cuba’s low autism rates can be attributed to a higher quality of vaccines and on the other hand, maybe it’s even simpler than that. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the use of acetaminophen at the time of vaccination in the U.S.

Glutathione Levels Impaired

Acetaminophen is found in commonly used products like Tylenol and Nyquil and seems to be a harmless painkiller. However, when you look closely at acetaminophen, it becomes abundantly clear why Cuba does not allow this product to be sold over the counter.

Acetaminophen hinders the production of glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant. In short, it helps the body detox and is necessary for proper immune system function. If acetaminophen hinders the production of glutathione, then it also hinders the body’s ability to excrete toxic ingredients found in vaccines, such as formaldehyde, cellular DNA, MRC-5 human diploid cells, aluminum, thimerosal, acetone, etc. [2]

In the U.S., we routinely give our children Tylenol or another pain reliever containing acetaminophen before or after they are vaccinated. By nature, acetaminophen hinders the production of glutathione and creates a perfect storm for permanent and disabling vaccine injury. Without adequate glutathione levels, the body simply cannot excrete the toxins in vaccines.

In theory, if a person is exposed to these harmful toxins, the body will excrete them before they can cause cellular damage. However, when acetaminophen is introduced, the body can only excrete about ten percent of toxins. Toxin excretion is dependent upon optimal glutathione levels. If glutathione production is lowered, the body cannot rid itself of toxins and an onslaught of injury can occur.


Autism rates in the U.S. have reached epidemic proportions. One in 36 boys now has some form of autism. Autism rates have increased exponentially since the increase in the vaccine schedule set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The increase in the number of childhood vaccines coincides with the 1986 ruling, exempting vaccine manufacturers from liability. If we have increased the number of vaccines a child receives, we have, in turn, increased the number of toxins a child is exposed to. [3]

If we have increased the toxic burden on our children, we need to take a critical look at acetaminophen and its role in detoxification. If the MMR vaccine is triggering autism in children, then we need to take a closer look at our manufacturing process, GMOs, the safety of vaccine ingredients and the potentially harmful role of acetaminophen at the time of vaccination.

There is a root cause for the autism epidemic and while the increased vaccine schedule may be a causal factor, acetaminophen is certainly a catalyst to vaccine injury. [4]



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About the author

Sarah Carrasco

Sarah Carrasco is the mother of a fifteen year old boy with autism. She is a parent mentor and Coordinator for Talk about Curing Autism (TACA), an vocational advocate for people with developmental disabilities and is currently writing a handbook on autism. She has sat on expert panels pertaining to IEPs, resources and respite care provider training. She lives in Colorado with her three sons, David, Aidan and Brooks. David, who has regressive autism, is steadily making gains and is on the road to recovery.