Drug Use in Pregnancy
Written by Faith Anderson on March 15, 2013
Drug Information Online is Inaccurate, Inconsistent
The findings, published online in Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, draw attention to the dangers faced by women who receive inaccurate information about the safety of drug use during pregnancy. In the study, researchers identified 25 active web sites that list 245 different medications reported to be safe for use in pregnancy, including 103 unique components that have been previously evaluated in terms of fetal risk by the Teratogen Information System (TERIS), a resource that assesses the risk of birth defects associated with exposure to pharmaceutical drugs. According to the study authors, for 43 (42%) of the 103 components listed as “safe” on one or more of the web sites examined, TERIS experts were unable to determine fetal risk based on scientific literature. For 40 (93%) of these 43 components, either no data was available, or the available data was limited.
“Safe” Medications May Actually Increase Risk of Birth Defects
These findings have sparked serious concerns among medical professionals, because they indicate that many women are relying on inaccurate or inconclusive information to determine which medications are safe for them to take during pregnancy, despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting this information. In many cases, in addition to providing inaccurate data about drug safety, web sites that pregnant women use for medication information may also offer conflicting advice. For example, one site examined by researchers listed 22 “safe” medications that were listed as “unsafe” by another site. Under these circumstances, women may be led to believe that there is no risk of birth defects associated with the medications they are taking, when the truth is that the drugs have not been determined to be safe for use in pregnancy.
Consult a Reputable Attorney in Your Area for Legal Help
According to the CDC, use of pharmaceutical drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy has skyrocketed 60% in the last 30 years, as many women seek treatment for chronic health conditions while pregnant, such as depression or pregnancy-related nausea. Unfortunately, many medications, particularly antidepressant drugs like Paxil and Zoloft, have been pegged as potentially dangerous for pregnant women to take, due to a risk of devastating birth defects among babies exposed to the medications in utero. If you took a pharmaceutical drug while pregnant and your child was born with a serious birth defect or malformation, contact an experienced attorney in your area to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your child’s injuries and medical bills, which you can pursue by filing a claim against the drug manufacturing company.