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Paracetamol – commonly referred to as Acetaminophen - is the active ingredient in over 600 prescription and non-prescription medications widely used for pain and/or fever relief. Acetaminophen is commonly used by pregnant women. Given that fact, the health implications may be substantial. Research shows that prenatal exposure to paracetamol - commonly-referred to as acetaminophen - may impact fetal development, which can then increase the possibility of various developmental, reproductive, and urogenital disorders.
Potential Impacts of Exposure During Pregnancy
Many important periods of development occur in utero, during infancy, and early childhood. During these stages, many chemicals may cause brain damage/injury, even with minimal exposure levels. Both short-term and long-term exposures to Acetaminophen may be linked to:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Developmental Disorder Info:
Autism Spectrum Disorder
According to the CDC, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. Some people with ASD have a known difference, such as a genetic condition. Other causes are not yet known. Scientists believe there are multiple causes of ASD that act together to change the most common ways people develop. We still have much to learn about these causes and how they impact people with ASD.
People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. There is often nothing about how they look that sets them apart from other people. The abilities of people with ASD can vary significantly. For example, some people with ASD may have advanced conversation skills whereas others may be nonverbal. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others can work and live with little to no support.
Asperger’s Syndrome is a developmental disorder. Young people with Asperger’s Syndrome have a difficult time relating to others socially and their behavior and thinking patterns can be rigid and repetitive.
Generally, children and teens with Asperger’s Syndrome can speak with others and can perform fairly well in their schoolwork. However, they have trouble understanding social situations and subtle forms of communication like body language, humor and sarcasm. They might also think and talk a lot about one topic or interest or only want to do a small range of activities. These interests can become obsessive and interfere with everyday life, rather than giving the child a healthy social or recreational outlet. Boys are three to four times more likely than girls to have Asperger’s Syndrome. Most cases are diagnosed between the ages of five and nine, with some diagnosed as early as age three.
The name for Asperger’s Syndrome has officially changed, but many still use the term Asperger’s Syndrome when talking about their condition. The symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome are now included in a condition called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is now the name used for a wide range of autism-like disorders. Some providers may still use the term Asperger’s Syndrome, but others will say “ASD – without intellectual or language impairment.” These two syndromes are, for the most part, the same.
Pervasive Developmental Disorder
The diagnostic category of pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterized by delays in the development of socialization and communication skills. Parents may note symptoms as early as infancy, although the typical age of onset is before 3 years of age. Symptoms may include problems with using and understanding language; difficulty relating to people, objects, and events; unusual play with toys and other objects; difficulty with changes in routine or familiar surroundings, and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns. Autism (a developmental brain disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills, and a limited range of activities and interests) is the most characteristic and best studied PDD.
Other types of PDD include Asperger's Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, and Rett's Syndrome. Children with PDD vary widely in abilities, intelligence, and behaviors. Some children do not speak at all, others speak in limited phrases or conversations, and some have relatively normal language development. Repetitive play skills and limited social skills are generally evident. Unusual responses to sensory information, such as loud noises and lights, are also common.
Autism refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today.
We know that there is not one autism but many subtypes, most influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Because autism is a spectrum disorder, each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges. The ways in which people with autism learn, think and problem-solve can range from highly skilled to severely challenged. Some people with ASD may require significant support in their daily lives, while others may need less support and, in some cases, live entirely independently.
Several factors may influence the development of autism, and it is often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues such as gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures or sleep disorders, as well as mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression and attention issues.
Signs of autism usually appear by age 2 or 3. Some associated development delays can appear even earlier, and often, it can be diagnosed as early as 18 months. Research shows that early intervention leads to positive outcomes later in life for people with autism.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD):
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common mental disorders affecting children. ADHD also affects many adults. Symptoms of ADHD include inattention (not being able to keep focus), hyperactivity (excess movement that is not fitting to the setting) and impulsivity (hasty acts that occur in the moment without thought).
An estimated 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD. ADHD is often first identified in school-aged children when it leads to disruption in the classroom or problems with schoolwork. It is more common among boys than girls.
If you or a loved one used Acetaminophen while pregnant and have a child who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autistic Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or other Behavioral Difficulties, fill out the form above for your confidential, free claim analysis.
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