It can be difficult for parents to understand why their baby was born with birth defects. While the causes of many congenital disabilities remain unknown, studies have found various links between birth defects and certain medications. These studies have brought parents into courtrooms looking for answers.
If your child was born with a birth defect that you believe may have been caused by a drug administered during pregnancy, contact our firm today for a free consultation.
While penicillins, cephalosporins, and erythromycins are generally considered safe, tetracyclines, sulfa drugs, ciprofloxacin, and other antibiotics can cause birth defects when taken by expectant mothers.
Benzodiazepines are usually prescribed for muscle relaxation, anxiety disorders, insomnia, panic attacks and seizures. They should only be prescribed to pregnant women with serious health issues because if taken while pregnant, certain benzodiazepine medications may create side effects in infants including poor muscle control, breathing difficulties and problems regulating body temperature.
Accutane poses an extremely serious risk to developing children. This drug should never be used by a pregnant woman under any circumstances. Soriatane is also a dermatological drug that is extremely harmful to a developing fetus, and should not be used by any woman for three years prior to conception.
In 2005, the FDA warned that Paxil can double the risk of heart birth defects when used during the first trimester of pregnancy. Similarly, in 2006, a major study found that Prozac also doubled the risk of delivering a child with the birth defect PPHN (Primary Pulmonary Hypertension).
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, usually called SSRI medications, are prescribed for depression and anxiety issues. Doctors had been prescribing certain SSRI medications to pregnant women for years, but in 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a public warning that infants were at increased risk of developing persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) when exposed to certain SSRI medications in the mother’s womb. These drugs include: Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Symbyax, and Fluvoxamine.
Zofran (or its generic version, Ondansetron) is an antiemetic and selective 5-HT3 receptor antagonist that it is prescribed to treat excessive vomiting in pregnancy and may be linked to birth defects. Studies have found possible links between Zofran and birth defects including jaundice, heart defects, cleft lip/palate and musculoskeletal anomalies.