Zofran Birth Defects
Morning sickness is nausea that is experienced by many women during pregnancy. At times this sickness can become so severe that expectant mothers seek help from their physician to help alleviate the symptoms. Zofran, or ondansetron, is a popular prescription drug which has been used to treat severe morning sickness and nausea. Although this medication may help reduce morning sickness symptoms, studies show that taking Zofran during pregnancy has been linked to hundreds of reports of birth defects.
What is Zofran?
Zofran is an anti-nausea drug marketed by the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline. This medication blocks the actions of the body’s chemicals to reduce or help manage nausea and vomiting. In 1991, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Zofran for two main purposes; prevention of nausea and vomiting for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, and for the management of nausea and vomiting after surgery.
Since Zofran is effective in treating nausea and vomiting, physicians started prescribing this drug “off-label.” Off-label is the term used when the medication you have been prescribed was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat a condition that is different than yours. Off-label prescribing is legal and is very common. As a matter of fact, one out of every five prescriptions written today are for off label use. To learn more about off-label use of prescription drugs, visit the U.S Food and Drug Administration website.
Birth Defects associated with Zofran
For most women, morning sickness usually occurs during the first trimester of the pregnancy. The first trimester of pregnancy is very critical. It is during these first 12 weeks that the baby’s body and internal organs begin to develop. Women need to be cautious of what types of medication they take during this time, as some medications are known to cause birth defects, one of which is Zofran.
Some of the birth defects which have been associated with the use of Zofran during pregnancy are:
- Cleft Palate or Cleft Lip
- Kidney defect
- Restriction in fetal growth
- Serotonin Syndrome
- Heart defects
- Heart Murmur
- Atrial Septal Defect (hole in the heart)
Contact your Zofran Attorney
If you or someone you love has taken Zofran for morning sickness during your pregnancy and your baby suffered birth defects, it is important to contact an attorney who is experienced in personal injury. The attorneys at Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz have over 5 decades of experience with personal injury settlements. We have six offices in Southwest Florida. Our offices are conveniently located in Fort Myers (two offices to serve you), Cape Coral, Naples, Lehigh and Port Charlotte. Call us today to set up an appointment for a free consultation.