Can I File a Zofran Lawsuit for Birth Defects?

PA Defective Drug Lawyers Explain Possible Dangers of Prescription Zofran

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline originally designed the drug Zofran to block natural mechanisms that trigger nausea. The FDA approved Zofran (ondansetron) in 1991 to treat patients suffering from nausea due to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and radiation therapy. Several years later, physicians began prescribing this antiemetic drug to pregnant women experiencing morning sickness. It was not long before GlaxoSmithKline began marketing the drug to pregnant women and their doctors for these purposes. However, recent studies have linked Zofran to mental and physical deformities in newborns. Thousands of women have filed lawsuits for Zofran birth defects. If your doctor prescribed you this drug during pregnancy and you delivered a child with birth defects, then you might have options to recover compensation.

The attorneys at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. have dedicated our practice to catastrophic personal injury cases. Our Pennsylvania defective drug attorneys have the resources and experience to handle complex pharmaceutical litigation. If your child suffered birth injuries or defects after taking the drug for nausea while pregnant, then our attorneys can review the details of your case and determine whether you can file a Zofran lawsuit.

What are Common Zofran Birth Defects?

Morning sickness is most likely to occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, a critical period for fetal development. However, taking Zofran to treat nausea during this crucial stage of pregnancy may put your child at risk for developing severe birth defects. According to studies and lawsuits currently facing the pharmaceutical company, Zofran-related birth defects include:

  • Cleft lip and palate. Many lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline claim Zofran caused a cleft lip or palate in newborns. A cleft palate occurs when the tissue that forms the roof of the mouth does not join together. An infant with a cleft lip may have an opening in the both the lip and roof of the mouth.
  • Heart defects. Studies show that taking Zofran during the first trimester may put women at risk of delivering a child with a cardiac septum defect. This causes openings in tissue of the heart during fetal development, preventing correct circulation.
  • Physical deformities. Taking Zofran during pregnancy may increase the risk of giving birth to a child with webbed toes, facial deformities and clubbed feet.
  • Hearing loss. At least one lawsuit claims that facial deformities caused by Zofran may also lead to hearing loss and frequent ear infections.

A 2006 study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong discovered that that chemical composition of Zofran easily crosses the placental barrier, exposing developing fetuses to the drug.

Can I File a Lawsuit for Zofran Birth Injuries?

Drug companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that their medications are safe for their intended use. Additionally, physicians must take all reasonable steps to keep patients from harm, including prescribing safe medications. Consequently, depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a Zofran lawsuit for:

  • Failure to warn. Drug companies have a duty to warn the public when adverting their products of any hazardous side-effects, including birth defects.
  • Deceptive marketing. Zofran is not FDA-approved to treat morning sickness. However, the drug maker nevertheless marketed the drug for that purpose. In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline paid $3 billion to settle a Department of Justice lawsuit over allegations that it misrepresented the safety of several of its drugs. Zofran was one of the potentially defective drugs mentioned in the lawsuit.
  • Producing a defective drug. Drug companies have a duty to ensure their products do not pose a safety hazard to you or other consumers. Prescription drugs must be free of design defects that can harm consumers or their unborn children, in this case.
  • Offlabel prescription. The FDA did not approve Zofran as a morning-sickness treatment, but many doctors prescribed it to pregnant women anyway. This kind of off-label prescription is dangerous, since there is no way to know if harmful side-effects will result. Therefore, in some cases, you may be able to hold your doctor accountable for your child’s birth injuries.

Did Your Child Suffer Birth Injuries After Taking Zofran?

Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a prescription drug lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline and/or your physician if you took Zofran during pregnancy and delivered a child with birth defects. In cases where a child suffers a physical deformity, the lifetime social, psychological and financial costs are significant. However, damages from a lawsuit may help pay costs associated with medical bills, therapy, reconstructive surgery, and pain and suffering

Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. takes cases on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we recover compensation for you and/or your child, you do not owe us any fees. In addition, we offer free initial consultations to determine the merits of your potential product liability case. To contact our attorneys for a free consultation, call (877) 638-0114 or fill out our online contact form.