There are many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications that are safe for you to take as recommended or prescribed. While risks may exist, they are minimal. However, whether these drugs are safe for a fetus while you are pregnant is another matter. Various medications that are appropriate for children or adult men and women can significantly impair a fetus’s development. Certain OTC or prescription drugs can directly harm a fetus, damage the umbilical cord or placenta, or lead to premature delivery which a fetus may not survive. Some drugs may lead to minor or moderate defects, which can be treated. Other drugs lead to significant defects that will dramatically hinder the child’s capabilities and quality of life. A few others can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn death.
If your son or daughter was born with birth defects as the result of a drug you took while pregnant, call an Ohio drug injury lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW. Birth defects can lead to long-term or even life-long physical, medical, financial, and emotional consequences for you and your child. Let us assess your situation and advise you on your legal rights.
Drugs That May Cause Birth Defects
The following are medications that have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects:
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Many common painkillers have been linked to a slightly increased risk of birth defects when taken while pregnant. Potential defects include limb abnormalities, eye defects, and brain and spinal cord defects.
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are prescribed for depression and anxiety and include Prozac, Lexapro, Zoloft, and Paxil. These drugs can increase the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) when a fetus is exposed to these drugs in utero. They may also lead to limb abnormalities, cleft palate, heart defects, spina bifida, and more.
- Benzodiazepines: This class of drug is used to treat anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, seizures, and other conditions. Taking it while pregnant can cause the baby to have muscle control, breathing, and temperature regulation difficulties.
- Certain Seizure Medications: Common drugs used to control seizures, including Dilantin, Tegretol, Depakote, and Lamictal increase the risk of cleft palate, organ deformities, craniofacial defects, hypoplasia, and developmental delays.
- Certain Blood Pressure Medications: Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors and Angiotensin II Antagonists, like Diovan, which are used to fight high blood pressure, should not be taken during pregnancy because of an increased risk in spina bifida, hydrocephalus, and heart defects.
- Warfarin: This blood thinner, also known as Jantoven and Coumadin, can lead to a variety of birth defects when taken while pregnant. The resulting defects are known as Fetal Warfarin Syndrome, and they include heart defects, incomplete or under-developed tissue and organs, chest deformities, and more.
- Vitamin A: Significant amounts of vitamin A in your diet while pregnant can lead to defects in the infant’s eyes, skull, lungs, and heart.
- Accutane (Isotretinoin): This is a form of vitamin A used to treat acne. Taking this medication while pregnant can lead to significant birth defects and possible infant death. It also has been suggested that women should not become pregnant for multiple years after using the medication.
- Certain Antibiotics: Many antibiotics are safe to take while pregnant, while others can be dangerous. Nitrofurantoins, Tetracyclines, and Sulfonamides have been linked to anencephaly (missing parts of the brain and skull), eye defects, cleft palate, heart defects, and more.
- Diflucan (fluconazole): This medication is used to treat yeast infections. If taken while pregnant, even in low doses, it may lead to miscarriages, brachycephaly (flattened head), cleft palate, and other effects.
- Thalidomide (Immunoprin): This drug is used to treat cancer and a complication of leprosy, though it was originally used to treat morning sickness. However, it was soon discovered that thalidomide caused birth defects, including phocomelia (limb abnormalities), eye and other facial defects, blindness, heart defects, brain damage, and more.
Your Legal Options When Your Child Suffered Birth Defects Due to a Drug
If your child was born with one or more abnormalities or defects due to your taking an OTC or prescription drug while pregnant, call us at Kisling, Nestico & Redick right away. We understand how devastating this situation is for you and your family. Bringing a child into the world is an exciting time and when you learn your child must grow up with a disfigurement or disability, it can be devastating.
Our experienced legal team is here to listen to your story, investigate your situation, and advise you on your legal options. If there is any evidence of a design, manufacturing, or warning defect in relation to the drug, we can represent you in a product liability claim.
During a product liability claim, we will seek the maximum damages available for your and your child’s injuries including medical expenses, current and future medical costs, lost wages, disfigurement and disability, physical and mental pain and suffering, and more.
If you lost your child through a miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery because of a dangerous drug, we will fight for you to recover the damages the law entitles you to for your loss.
Let an Ohio Drug Injury Lawyer at Kisling, Nestico & Redick Help
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our experienced and aggressive legal team is here to assist you in determining whether you have a legal claim, deciding on whether moving forward with a claim is the right step for your family, and representing you through a product liability claim. Throughout this process, we will protect your rights and fight for you to receive the maximum compensation possible for your and your child’s injuries.
To learn more about a potential claim for drugs causing birth defects, contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW or online and schedule a risk-free consultation.