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Dangerous Drugs for Pregnancy

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

Expecting mothers will do whatever they can to make sure their babies are born healthy and happy. But often, they don't know that certain drugs they are prescribed during pregnancy can cause harmful defects.

Sadly, there is a long list of drugs that were discovered to be harmful to pregnant women and their children. Most recently, researchers and the FDA learned a morning sickness drug called Zofran can cause including congenital heart defects, orofacial and septal defects, kidney malformation, and even stillbirths. Here's what you need to know about dangerous pregnancy drugs and what you can do about them.

When Can You Sue for Birth Defects?

When a child is born with birth defects, the last thing on the parents' mind is a lawsuit. It may be hard to know whether the defects are due to a prescription drug or some other cause. But pharmaceutical companies can be held liable if one of their drugs causes injuries based on one or more of three theories:

  1. Design Defects -- This means a drug poses an unreasonable risk to consumers even if it is manufactured and used as intended, and generally must be foreseeable risks a company knew about and ignored;
  2. Manufacturing Defects -- This means a mistake in the production of a well-designed drug that introduces a new danger to consumers, like contamination at a processing facility; and/or
  3. Warning Defects -- This means a company failed to properly warn consumers of known risks in using a drug, like known side effects.

In the case of Zofran, the FDA had approved the drug as an anti-nausea treatment in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, but its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline was unlawfully marketing the drug to doctors for treating morning sickness.

Lawsuits based on birth defect injuries aren't like other injury lawsuits, and no two birth defect lawsuits are the same. Still, there are some general things to be aware of when suing over a dangerous pregnancy drug.

First, there's not just one kind of lawsuit to file. You may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against the drug manufacturer, but you may also be able to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor if she prescribed the drug for an unapproved purpose or failed to warn you about the possible side effects.

Second, like any injury lawsuit, the statute of limitations will start the clock ticking on your time to file in court. But the specific time limit may vary depending on your type of claim and what state you live in.

The best source of information for any lawsuit is a lawyer and you can contact an attorney with experienced in pregnancy drug lawsuits today.

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