As medicine continues to make advances, many women are able to have richer, fuller lives through prescription medication. Afflictions that may have been untreatable just decades ago can now be controlled or managed by complex formulas developed by pharmaceutical scientists. It sounds too good to be true, and unfortunately, in many cases it is. A rapidly expanding list of medication has proven dangerous for pregnant women to take.
Some of the meds present harm to the unborn or nursing infant, while others drugs bring potentially fatal complications to pregnant mothers. What is perhaps most alarming is that for many of the prescription medications, a correlation between the drug and the birth defect is not found until the drug has been taken by tens or hundreds of thousands of mothers. Once the mothers and infants are the victims of such devastating wrongs, the baby’s family is left with little choice but to hold the manufacturer accountable in a product liability lawsuit.
Why Aren’t Pregnant Moms Warned about the Dangers?
There a couple reasons why mothers can unknowingly take medication that may be potentially harmful to their babies. The first reason – and part of the overall problem with the pharmaceutical industry – is that drug manufacturers often rush to get their highly profitable prescription medication on the market and get a return on their investment. Pharmaceutical research and development is extremely expensive, and when the drug company thinks it has a lucrative medication they will push hard to quickly clear all governmental hurdles.
Another reason is that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has been coming up short in protecting consumers from dangerous medications. The FDA has recently received much criticism and scrutiny after a wave of dangerous meds hit the market; meds where the harmful side effects often outweigh the benefit received by the patient. Drug manufacturers have demonstrated that they will not accept the burden of consumer safety through the adequate testing of medications before they hit the market, so government must tighten the reins to keep mothers and babies safe from unknown harm.
What Meds Are Currently on the Danger List?
While this is an abbreviated list – one that is certain to continue growing – pregnant mothers should immediately consult their physician if they are taking one of the following medications:
- Anticonvulsants such as Depakote and Dilantin
- Antipsychotics such as Haldol, Zyprexa, Seroquel and Abilify
- Opioids such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Tylenol containing Codeine
This list is far from complete. Birth defect rates are relatively low, so it can takes years to accumulate data showing a sufficient link between the medication and the birth defect.
If the Baby has Already Experienced Harm
If you have taken one of the above medications while pregnant and your child has experienced a birth defect, contact an experienced product liability attorney. While recovery of monetary damages cannot undo the harm to your child, they can help pay for corrective surgery, treatments, pain and suffering and loss of limb or life.