Amid increasing concerns about the alleged risk of birth defects from Zofran use during pregnancy, a new study published in the medical journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics warns that the controversial anti-nausea medication may cross the placenta during pregnancy, and stay in the bodies of babies for an extended period of time, possibly causing fetal malformations. If you took Zofran while pregnant, and your child was born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or another serious birth defect, contact a knowledgeable Zofran attorney today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Zofran lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline, in order to pursue financial compensation for your child’s injuries and past and future medical bills.
Zofran (ondansetron) is an anti-nausea medication commonly prescribed to patients experiencing nausea or vomiting following surgery or chemotherapy or radiation treatment. The drug is also commonly prescribed off-label as a morning sickness treatment for women who are pregnant, and is also sometimes used to prevent neonatal abstinence syndrome or withdrawal symptoms in babies exposed to illicit drugs while in the womb. However, serious concerns have been raised recently about the potential adverse effects of Zofran use in pregnancy, including an alleged risk of birth defects like heart defects, cleft palate, cleft lip, and other serious congenital malformations.
In this new study, researchers from the University of Chicago, Stanford University and the Royal Free Hospital in London analyzed plasma samples from 40 pregnant women and 20 non-pregnant women, in an effort to develop a possible treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome. The researchers examined samples taken from the umbilical cord blood, and from the infants after birth, and found that Zofran use during pregnancy was associated with a “rapid transplacental transfer and longer elimination half-life in neonates compared to their mother.” In other words, women who take Zofran while pregnant may put their unborn babies at risk for serious birth defects caused by the potentially dangerous drug crossing the placenta and interfering with fetal development.
This isn’t the first study to suggest that Zofran may cross the placenta when used during pregnancy. In a 2006 study published in the medical journal Clinical Pharmacokinetics, researchers from Hong Kong found that samples of fetal tissue from all 41 study participants who request surgical termination of pregnancy during the first trimester, and who were administered three doses of Zofran prior to the procedure, contained a drug concentration that was significantly higher than expected. A study published in 2012 found that babies exposed to Zofran during pregnancy were 2.37 times more likely to suffer from cleft palate, and a 2013 study found a two-times increased risk of heart birth defects in babies exposed to the morning sickness drug.
In recent years, a growing number of Zofran lawsuits have been brought against GlaxoSmithKline, on behalf of children who suffered birth defects after being exposed to Zofran during pregnancy. If you believe your child has been adversely affected by side effects of Zofran, including devastating birth defects like cleft lip, cleft palate or heart defects, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, and can help put you in touch with a reputable product liability lawyer who has experience handling Zofran birth defect claims.
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