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Zofran may significantly raise risk of birth defects

There are many medications that doctors prescribe during pregnancy that have been approved as safe and effective for a variety of conditions. However, other types of medications have had the opposite effect, either causing harm to the expectant mother or unborn child. If you’re expecting a baby, you may rightly be concerned about the medications your doctor recommends you take. What if a drug you are told is safe actually has negative consequences? At Donovan & O'Connor, LLP, our lawyers are prepared to help families in Massachusetts receive justice if a medication taken during pregnancy resulted in a birth injury.

If you are suffering from morning sickness, it can help to know about the potential effects of a commonly-prescribed anti-nausea drug. According to, the medication Zofran has been widely prescribed to expectant mothers with severe morning sickness, although the drug was never approved for use during pregnancy. Instead, this powerful drug is only approved to treat severe nausea and vomiting for patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or recovering from surgical anesthesia.

The U.S. Department of Justice accused GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Zofran, of marketing the drug to doctors as safe to use during pregnancy. Although the manufacturer denied any wrongdoing, it settled with the department for $3 billion.

What are the birth defects your child might face if you take Zofran? Numerous studies suggested that taking the medication during the first trimester may raise the risk of babies developing the following conditions:

  • Cleft palate
  • Premature birth
  • Shorter birth length
  • Serious cardiovascular conditions

Many of these conditions can result in permanent disability and significant hardship. If your child was harmed by a medication you took while pregnant that you were led to believe was safe, you may be eligible for the compensation of your medical expenses. To learn more about the ramifications of trauma during pregnancy and delivery, please visit our website.

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