Zofran And Birth Defects

Zofran And Birth Defects

The subject of Zofran and birth defects is a complex, unhappy one. What began as a drug that was designed to help those dealing with nausea and other undesirable side effects from cancer treatments has become a controversial issue for U.K. pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Lawsuits and class action suits abound, with the main thread for all legal matters concerning Zofran alleging that the drug is responsible for numerous reported birth defects.

GSK is a company with operations in more than 115 countries. They generate somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-million dollars a year. While the massive company will likely survive any short-term or long-term scandals associated with Zofran and birth defects, there is no question that their reputation has been tarnished by this whole ugly history.

The story as it stands with GSK, Zofran, and the studies linking the drug to birth defects is one that illustrates the problematic elements to not only healthcare, but to the significant amount of influence and power pharmaceutical companies have.


 Does Zofran Cause Birth Defects?

The first thing you need to understand about Zofran and its link to birth defects is that Zofran was indeed approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as means of helping cancer patients deal with nausea. The drug was approved for use after treatment or surgery. The drug could be taken in the form of oral tablets, oral solutions, oral disintegrating tablets, or even as an injection for intravenous usage.

When used as prescribed, the drug can be quite effective. Zofran blocks 5-HT3, which are serotonin receptors on your vagal nerves, running from your stomach to your throat. They can also be found in your chemo-receptor trigger zone or CTZ in your brain.

The problem with Zofran wasn’t whether or not the drug could be helpful to those suffering from nausea/vomiting within their cancer treatments/surgeries. The problem emerged when the drug became an off-label treatment for nausea/vomiting found in pregnancy, according to the Sacramento Auto Accident Attorney. While the main idea remains the same, the truth of the matter is that the considerations of a pregnant woman are extremely different from the considerations of someone who is seeking chemotherapy, surgery, or other forms of treatment for their cancer.

It was when someone decided that one form of nausea/vomiting was the same as another that problems began to emerge.

 The Link Between Zofran And Birth Defects

While physicians are allowed to suggest drugs to treat something the drug was not initially designed for, they can only do this in the event that they feel the potential good of their decision outweighs the potential bad to a significant degree. Furthermore, manufacturers are not allowed to promote or market a medication for any use beyond what it has been approved to do through the FDA.

This is where things got a little dicey for GSK. In 2012, the company paid out some three-billion dollars to deal with allegations that their company had engaged in illegal/improper marketing of Zofran. Keep in mind that this was not the only drug GSK was accused of doing these things with.


Birth defects linked to Zofran use by pregnant women includes:

  1. Congenital heart defects.
  2. Cleft palates.
  3. Kidney malformations.
  4. Skeletal defects.
  5. Fetal growth restrictions.
  6. Spontaneous abortions.
  7. Stillbirth.

Studies indicate that Zofran usage can increase the overall rate of birth defects by as much as thirty-four percent.

Meanwhile, the lawsuits continue. Considering other companies have been manufacturing generic variations, and keeping in mind that the marketing rights for Zofran have changed hands, who can say what the future holds. And don’t forget about Zuplenz, a similar drug that is currently being marked and sold within the United States.

Advice For New Mothers

Advice For New Mothers

As a new mother, you have to get used to a lot. The problem with that is that you have to get used to all of it pretty much from the first day onwards. As any reasonable person is going to tell you, figuring everything out as a new mother is impossible. You’re not going to do it on the first day. Chances are, even after you’ve gained valuable insight on parenting, you’re still going to feel as though you’re struggling to keep up with everything.

A little advice can go a long way. The only problem with this notion is that the advice new mothers tend to receive is an infuriatingly mixed bag. There is good advice, bad advice, and even advice that just flat-out doesn’t make sense.

In the end, as you consider any piece of advice for new mothers that comes your way, the first thing you should do is consider the source. Advice from people who have been there can be helpful. Advice from people who don’t even own a houseplant, let alone have to care for another human being? Not so much.

kids_health-1 A Few Tips For New Mothers

Here are a few suggestions that almost any new mother can take advantage of:

  • You don’t have to “love every minute”: Has anyone told you yet that when it comes to motherhood, you should “love every minute”? Don’t you want to throw a dirty diaper at people like that? The truth of the matter is that you won’t love every moment. Nor should you feel guilty about that. Moments of intense frustration or even depression during motherhood, especially if it’s your first time around, are going to come fast and furious at times. Acknowledging that you are entitled to these moments is a good way to deal with them.
  • Does anyone really know what they’re doing? Parents have good days and bad days. One day, you’re going to feel like you can do no wrong. The next day, you might feel like the worst parent in history. Honestly, although we can learn and build plans around what we’ve learned, the reality is that no one really knows what they are doing. Some know more than others, but even the so-called “best” parents make mistakes.
  • Work? Don’t work? Most of us live in households that rely on incomes from more than one person. However, at the end of the day, no one has the right to judge you for going to work, or choosing to stay home to be with your child full-time. No one. You do what works best for yourself and your family. Everyone else can take their opinions elsewhere.
  • Everyone is different: Certain elements to the experience of first-time childbirth/rearing can move from one new mommy to the next. At the same time, it is important to understand that millions of tiny components to your experience can create something that will strike another new mommy as completely foreign. If your experience is different, and it will be, this doesn’t mean your experience is less than anyone else’s.
  • Going it alone: Caring for a child can sometimes involve asking others for help. If you have such people in your life, remember that you are not weak for reaching out to these individuals. You are not a bad parent.

A young boy visiting the hospital for a check-up

 What Advice Would You Give?

If you want to give a new mother advice, consider whether or not the advice is desired in the first place. In the second place, do you actually have experience as a parent? If you answered no to both, then strongly reconsider giving out tips like “Enjoy every moment” or “Don’t feel guilty.”