Although Tylenol has been seen as a safe pain reliever for pregnant women, recent scientific studies have found a connection between Tylenol use during pregnancy and children developing developmental disorders like autism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental condition that can lead to social communication, learning, and movement skill issues.
Autism caused by prenatal Tylenol exposure can cause significant damages that can severely alter the course of a newborn’s life, such as medical expenses, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering. These damages can lead to worsened quality of life and restrict social, career, and educational advancement. Drug manufacturers can be held liable for the negative effects of autism caused by prenatal Tylenol use.
Can Prenatal Tylenol Exposure Cause Autism?
A recent study found that it is possible for Tylenol use during pregnancy to cause autism in newborns. Tylenol, known in its generic form as acetaminophen, is a pain reliever thought to be safer than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen and Aspirin. However, a study conducted by researchers at the American Journal of Epidemiology found that prolonged exposure to acetaminophen during fetal development can increase the risk of developing autism.
The study involved an analysis of seven other studies, which included 132,738 pairs of mothers and children. These pairs were monitored for three to eleven years, with questionnaires, interviews, and self-reports about medication use. The newborns of mothers who used Tylenol consistently were 20% more likely to develop autism. The study did not identify why prenatal Tylenol exposure causes autism. Still, newborns struggling with autism due to prolonged acetaminophen exposure can experience damages that can negatively affect them throughout their life.
Long-Term Medical Costs Associated With Autism
One of the most significant damages that can affect a person with autism spectrum disorder is medical costs. Those with ASD will have to receive medical treatment, such as therapy, to cope with the disorder’s impact. Therapy can help them learn how to live with the cognitive challenges associated with autism spectrum disorder.
Although behavioral service therapy can help, the cost of continuing treatment throughout someone’s life can be expensive. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, ASD medical costs for everyone living with the disorder in the United States were $137 million. The lifetime medical costs for individuals living with autism spectrum disorder ranged from $1.4 million to $2.4 million, with yearly costs of about $80,000.
How Can Autism Affect a Person’s Education and Career?
Autism spectrum disorder can cause cognitive difficulties, leading to issues with learning that can affect a person’s education. Those with ASD can have problems with communication, social interaction, and sensory processing, leading to issues with learning from teachers. They can struggle with deciphering facial cues, making grasping the lessons imparted by teachers difficult. Most people living with autism spectrum disorder have to enroll in schools with specialized curricula and classroom support.
The effects of autism spectrum disorder can also restrict the options someone with the disorder has for their career. About 50,000 to 60,000 people with autism spectrum disorder turn 18 annually, but about 40% do not work for pay between high school and their early 20s. Those on the autism spectrum have difficulty finding and maintaining gainful employment, despite the desire and talent to hold employment. Some of this has to do with barriers to completing postsecondary education and training opportunities, which can restrict them from employment in industries with higher wages. Less employment opportunities can cause those with autism spectrum disorder to receive lesser wages and less access to healthcare.
Pain and Suffering Caused by Autism
While some may assume that autism does not cause pain to those who have to live with it, some reports have suggested otherwise. Some unpredictable, abstract sensory experiences have caused pain to those living with ASD. This medical disorder can also cause daily suffering, as they may struggle with everyday tasks, learning in school, and developing personal relationships. You can pursue compensation for Tylenol autism pain and suffering damages caused by Tylenol manufacturers.
Autism Can Lead to Loss of Enjoyment of Life
All of the symptoms of autism, including lessened cognitive ability, social skills, and learning ability, can cause loss of enjoyment of life. This is a type of non-economic damage that encompasses how a person’s quality of life can diminish due to a personal injury. Those with autism spectrum disorder can experience challenges with everyday tasks that can affect their mental health.
Loss of enjoyment of life can also happen because of bullying and ostracization. Young people suffering from autism spectrum disorder can struggle with social interaction. Other kids their age may treat them poorly due to their lack of social skills. Diminished quality of life can occur because bullying may make them depressed due to bullying or they feel like they cannot have a life like a normal kid.
Loss of Consortium Caused by Autism
The effects autism spectrum disorder can have on social skills can affect their ability to develop meaningful relationships. This can lead to loss of consortium, which has to do with how a personal injury affects their ability to receive benefits from personal relationships.
Loss of consortium is when a personal injury deprives a person of the benefits of a familial or intimate relationship. They can lose out on the compassion, love, affection, comfort, and sexual intimacy of a loved one. Those with autism spectrum disorder can have a hard time developing relationships due to their inability to read social cues, which can deprive them of the above benefits provided by a relationship.
Recovering Compensation for Tylenol Autism Damages
Many people affected by Tylenol autism have pursued compensation for damages caused by manufacturers by filing Tylenol autism lawsuits. There are expected to be over 100,000 lawsuits filed pursuing damages for Tylenol that caused autism. On October 5th, 2022, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML) certified the consolidation of Tylenol autism lawsuits into a multi-district litigation (MDL) in front of a judge in New York.
An MDL is a term for the consolidation of similar lawsuits meant to promote consistency in discovery and increase the chances of a global settlement. Despite challenges to the MDL by Tylenol manufacturers, the MDL will continue in 2023. New lawsuits continue to be filed, and a Special Master has been named to collect key information from the plaintiffs.