An anti-nausea medication suggested to cause serious birth defects may remain in the bodies of infants for longer than previously thought, according to a study that could influence future Zofran lawsuit claims.
According to research published in the medical journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, a team from Stanford University, the University of Colorado and the Royal Free Hospital in the United Kingdom examined samples taken from blood in the umbilical cord, as well as from newborns. The study’s leaders examined plasma samples from 40 pregnant women and 20 non-pregnant women while looking at Zofran’s effectiveness in treating neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition that refers to the withdrawal symptoms newborns may experience after certain harmful drugs they were exposed to via their mothers in the womb. This is a known approved use of Zofran, which was originally cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-nausea medication for chemotherapy or surgery patients who may be vomiting due to their care.
Aside from its approved uses, Zofran is frequently prescribed to women experiencing morning sickness during pregnancy. The drug has been associated with the risk for serious birth defects when used during the first trimester of pregnancy, however, since this is the infant’s most crucial development stage. Women who allege birth defects tied to the GlaxoSmithKline drug allege Zofran heart defects, as well as cleft lip and palates, heart defects, poor fetal growth, kidney defects, musculoskeletal defects and fetal death, among other problems.
The potential for Zofran cleft lip and palate injuries, as well as additional problems, has been explored in a number of studies conducted over the past few years. In August 2013, research presented at a meeting of the International Society of Pharmacoepidemiology found an increased risk for cardiovascular problems in babies born to mothers who took the drug. 4.7 percent of individuals who took the medication during their first pregnancy trimester had children with congenetial abnormalities. This was compared to 3.5 percent who did not take Zofran. The Canadian presenters concluded that women taking Zofran ran a 30 percent increased likelihood of having a baby with birth defects.
The attorneys at Bernstein Liebhard LLP are currently evaluating potential Zofran lawsuits on behalf of women who allegedly gave birth to children with birth defects caused by the medication. Call us now at (888) 881-3077.