Zofran (Ondansetron) is a powerful anti-nausea drug. It has long been given to patients experiencing severe nausea, particularly those going through chemotherapy or radiation following a cancer diagnosis, or those who have just underwent surgery.
Some doctors, though, prescribed Zofran to pregnant women who were suffering from morning sickness or other forms of nausea. Recent independent studies indicate that taking Zofran while pregnant can cause birth defects, including holes in the heart, craniofacial defects, including cleft palates and kidney malformations.
Information indicates that GlaxoSmithKline knew that doctors were prescribing Zofran for pregnant women, and even knew about the risks, but didn’t warn physicians or their patients. Instead, the company continued to market Zofran to doctors and encouraged this “off label” use. GlaxoSmithKline paid a hefty fine of $3 billion in 2012 for illegally marketing drugs to physicians. You can read about that penalty in this New York Times story.
Two studies, one in 2012 and another in 2014, both found that children whose mothers took Zofran during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to be born with birth defects. The defects noted in the studies were heart defects and cleft palate. You can read a summary of the 2014 study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25450422.
Lawsuits have been filed against GlaxoSmithKline seeking damages from the company. A Minnesota woman took Zofran during two pregnancies and both of her children were born with serious heart defects. Another woman is suing the company, too, after giving birth to a child with significant problems that have caused the child to have 13 surgeries.
Without proper warning labels, physicians may not know how dangerous drugs can be, and patients certainly can’t know, either. Cases against GSK for Zofran birth defects are just beginning. If you or someone you know took Zofran while pregnant, it’s very important to protect your rights as soon as possibleWe can help you get the compensation you deserve from this pharmaceutical company.
Please contact our knowledgeable drug injury attorneys at (270) 781-6500 or use our online contact form here. We are representing families in Kentucky and Tennessee in Zofran lawsuits, and we are happy to provide a free consultation to you.