One thing people expect when they go to the doctor is that the medication prescribed will take care of them. What they don’t realize (or don’t want to realize) is that many of the medications that are on the market have side effects that range from the mild to the potentially dangerous. Another major issue is that some physicians will prescribe medications for uses other than their intended purpose. The rationale behind this is often with the best intentions, but it can have seriously damaging results. This was the case with Zofran, a drug that hit the markets in 1991. The drug has led to some of the biggest personal injury cases in U. S. history, cases that are particularly disturbing because they involve severe birth defects. These birth defects are one of the scariest of Zofran’s side effects and something that every parent needs to be aware of.
The Uses of Zofran
Zofran has typically been used with little or no incident as a means of preventing nausea and vomiting. Zofran does this by cutting off the nerve receptors that cause people to become nauseated and throw up. It has been used very successfully to treat not only regular nausea, but also the vomiting that can be associated with cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and surgical patients coming out of anesthesia. In this manner, Zofran has helped countless patients who have extra complications after surgery from heavy vomiting as well as the cancer patients who have a hard time keeping up their energy levels because they cannot keep their food down.
The Misuses of Zofran
Because Zofran was used so readily to help patients with severe nausea, it seemed like a simple leap for them to begin prescribing it for pregnant women who were having issues with severe morning sickness. Doctors were allowed to prescribe it for this purpose at their own discretion, even though the FDA had not approved it specifically for use combatting morning sickness. The results were devastating for many parents as the side effects of Zofran, especially on pregnant women, were unknown. Tests had not been conducted to rule out the possible birth defects and side effects the drug would have on an unborn child.
Zofran Side Effects
When given to a pregnant woman, Zofran can cause a wide range of birth defects. At the extreme end, the use of the drug caused fetal death including miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also cause serious skeletal defects including deformed skulls that could have an impact on the brain and cognitive development. Another common defect was cleft lip and cleft palate, two conditions involving the failure of the mouth to fully develop. These can often be corrected with surgery, but they can complicate an infant’s ability to eat and thrive. Other more severe internal problems included children who were missing a kidney or who had a malformed kidney and heart defects, including heart murmurs and having a hole in the heart. Finally, the side effects can also include fetal growth restriction. If a child is born underweight, then his or her ability to thrive is greatly compromised and the child could wind up spending time in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
If you were prescribed Zofran while pregnant, then it is possible that any birth defects or similar problems your child may have had could have been a result of this medication. In this event, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical issues and suffering. The law firm of Wolf & Pravato is available to help protect your rights and those of your child.
Other articles you might be interested in:
Birth Defects Caused By Zofran
Zofran Makers Have A History of Hiding the Truth
Morning Sickness? Try Natural Alternatives to Zofran