While Zofran has been proven effective in fighting morning sickness during pregnancy, recent research studies have also determined that it can often cause significant side-effects to the mother and, to a greater extent, her unborn child. Consequently, there has been a steady rise in the number of Zofran birth defect lawsuits in the U.S. as growing public awareness sends more and more families of infants with birth defects to challenge the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, in courtroom litigation.
The Purpose of Prescribed Zofran
Zofran is the trade name for ondansetron, a prescription drug that functions by blocking the body chemicals that cause nausea and vomiting. It is available in tablet form for oral consumption and by injection for direct delivery into the bloodstream. Statistics show that nausea, on some level or other, is experienced in over 50 percent of all pregnancies. Expectant mothers, who develop extreme symptoms, are frequently prescribed Zofran during their first trimester of pregnancy.
Warnings that Accompany the Drug
Though Zofran was originally approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat chemotherapy (cancer) patients or post-surgery patients dealing with nausea, the drug manufacturer soon discovered that another type of patient could benefit from using Zofran: pregnant women with morning sickness. However, promoting the product for this particular purpose created an immediate problem. Zofran was not approved safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for women who are pregnant.
The FDA states that taking Zofran during pregnancy could potentially cause severe birth defects but regardless, it has not halted its use. Consequently, physicians continue to prescribe it regularly. Zofran has been associated with a variety of birth defects, including (but not limited to):
- Musculoskeletal abnormalities
- Club foot
- Cleft lip and/or palate
- Heart deficiencies
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