A case study published in the medical journal Pediatric Emergency Care last month indicates that heart-related side effects of Zofran may be fatal for children and others experiencing serious heart rhythm problems. In the report, doctors from the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania highlighted two cases of children who suffered fatal cardiac arrest after taking the popular anti-nausea medication Zofran. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Zofran, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are committed to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by allegedly defective pharmaceutical drugs, and can help put you in touch with a reputable Zofran attorney today.
Zofran (ondansetron) is a popular anti-nausea medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and belonging to a class of drugs known as 5-HT3 receptor antagonists, which function by blocking the effects of serotonin. Zofran has only been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for nausea and vomiting associated with the effects of surgery or chemotherapy treatment, the drug is often prescribed off-label by doctors for pregnant women suffering from a severe form of morning sickness known as hyperemesis gravidarum. However, serious concerns have been raised recently about the potential side effects of Zofran use in pregnancy, including an increased risk of devastating birth defects in babies exposed to the drug in utero.
Zofran (ondansetron) is the most popular medication in the 5-HT3 class of drugs, and is typically prescribed to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. However, Zofran and other 5-HT3 drugs are also commonly prescribed off-label to pregnant women suffering from a serious form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum, which is characterized by unrelenting nausea, vomiting and dehydration. According to a growing body of research, women who take Zofran while pregnant may have a higher risk of giving birth to babies with serious birth defects, and this latest study links the controversial drug to an increased risk of heart rhythm problems as well.
According to the report, one case involved a previously healthy 10-year-old child who came into the emergency room exhibiting symptoms of a common stomach flu. He was administered fluids, antibiotics, morphine and two doses of Zofran to combat his nausea and vomiting. He was later found unresponsive with signs of tachycardia, a condition characterized by a higher-than-normal heart rate. The second case involved a three-month-old infant who also showed signs of the stomach flu and was administered Zofran. The infant experienced several episodes of supraventricular tachycardia, resulting in ventricular fibrillation, and was later diagnosed with unidentified congenital cardiomyopathy. In both cases, medical professionals attempted to resuscitate the children and failed.
New research examining the potential side effects of Zofran and similar anti-nausea medications indicates that patients taking high doses of Zofran may be at risk for serious heart rhythm problems. In the study, published last week in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, researchers from Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York warned about the risk of QT prolongation side effects associated with Zofran and similar drugs, known as selective 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor agonists. If you took Zofran in the past, and you have since suffered from heart rhythm problems or another serious side effect, contact a knowledgeable Zofran lawyer today to discuss your legal options.
According to the findings of this new study, “[Zofran] has been shown to increase the risk of QT interval prolongation, which can lead to potentially fatal arrhythmias, including torsades de pointes,” a condition that can degenerate into ventricular fibrillation and lead to sudden death without proper treatment. “Patients who are at a higher risk of QT prolongation include those with underlying cardiac abnormalities, low serum potassium and magnesium levels, and those taking concurrent QT-prolonging agents.” The study also warns that heart rhythm problems from Zofran increase with higher doses, and when the drug is administered intravenously.
This new Zofran report comes less than one month after a case study published in the medical journal Pediatric Emergency Care discussed the deaths of two children believed to be associated with Zofran heart problems. In June 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about a potential connection between Zofran and heart problems, requiring updated label warnings to be added to the anti-nausea medication last year. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Zofran, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help put you in touch with a reputable attorney who has experience handling Zofran injury claims.
In addition to a potential increased risk of birth defects from Zofran, the FDA has warned that the anti-nausea drug may be linked to a serious heart problem known as QT interval prolongation, which is characterized by an irregular heartbeat. According to reports, this condition may predispose Zofran users to Torsades de Pointes, a rare type of ventricular tachycardia that can lead to sudden death without proper treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious heart problem that may be related to Zofran treatment, contact a reputable Zofran lawyer today for legal help. With a qualified Zofran attorney on your side, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.