Pregnant women are often cautioned against ingesting many things that they normally take with impunity. Some of the more common ones are coffee, hotdogs, raw sprouts, and papaya because they have a small risk of harming the fetus. They will not definitely cause harm, but it is better to be safe than sorry. After all, a pregnant woman can eat other things safely.
That is sort of the situation with Zofran, the popular and powerful anti-emetic drug from GlaxoSmithKline. Zofran is ondansetron, and it is a 5-HT3 receptor antagonist (blocker) that was approved to prevent nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and post surgery. It is also commonly prescribed “off-label” for women who are experiencing severe morning sickness (nausea and vomiting of pregnancy or NVP).
A December 2014 review of a 2013 Danish study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The original study was on the effects of ondansetron on fetal development when administered in the first trimester of pregnancy (which is when NVP is usually at its worst). The review used the same data set of women but followed up on the women for an extended period. The review concluded that ondansetron significantly increased the risk of developing congenital problems such as cardiac malformations in the fetus, exactly the opposite of the conclusion by the original study. The conflicting results definitely did not rule out the possibility of developmental problems for the fetus.
All this is very confusing for women suffering from extreme NVP, also called hyperemesis gravidarum, that urgently need treatment. Fortunately, there are alternatives to ondansetron such as pyridoxine and doxylamine that will alleviate the worst of the symptoms. They are approved for used with pregnant women by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These alternatives may not be as effective, but they are infinitely safer for both the mother and developing child.
According to the website of Williams Kherkher, if you were prescribed with Zofran for NVP and your child was born with birth defects, you could be eligible for compensation. Find out more from an experienced Zofran lawyer in your area.Read More