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Diversity In Severity Of Defects Allegedly Caused By Zofran

From cleft palates to babies dying in the womb, the severity of the injuries sustained by birth defects caused by the anti-nausea drug Zofran have ranged from treatable to fatal in the cases recently filed against the medication's manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016 - A growing number of birth defects have been reported related to GlaxoSmithKline's anti-nausea medication Zofran. The drug, which was marketed off-label to help treat morning sickness for pregnant mothers, has been linked to the development of birth defects in a number of research studies and is the subject of dozens of lawsuits around the country claiming children of mothers who took the medication suffered from birth defects as a result. The defects range in nature from cleft palates to deadly heart defects, all allegedly linked to Zofran.

The birth defects alleged in the lawsuits filed thus far come in at the mild end with claims of cleft palates caused by Zofran used during pregnancy. A lawsuit filed in Ohio claimed that the drug was taken by a pregnant mother who consequently gave birth to a child with a cleft lip and palate, a condition that led to the child needing eight surgeries to correct the deformity by the time he was 9 years old. Their lawsuit, filed in July, was believe to be the ninth case filed in relation to a facial deformity thus far in the Zofran proceedings.

More serious allegations of defects have also arisen, such as a lawsuit that was filed in July in the Southern District of Illinois. A mother who was prescribed Zofran in the first trimester of her pregnancy gave birth to a child that was born with an underdeveloped heart. The birth defect led to the child needing a heart transplant soon after birth, a procedure that the plaintiffs claim would not have been necessary if the mother had not been prescribed Zofran early in her pregnancy. The plaintiff claimed that because heart development takes place in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, Zofran's introduction to the womb likely contributed to the underdevelopment of the heart.

There have even been death of children tied to birth defects caused by Zofran, as alleged in a April lawsuit filed in Massachusetts. A mother has claimed that her child died in utero as a result of her Zofran use while pregnant. The child was diagnosed with a number of physical malformations while in the womb and those complications resulted in the death of the baby before it was born.

The variance in the severity of birth defects is found throughout the Zofran birth defect lawsuits, as additional claims of kidney, lung and brain defects have also been alleged in addition to the instances detailed above. All plaintiffs in the lawsuits have claimed that drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline intentionally marketed Zofran off-label to physicians with the intention of having it prescribed to women suffering from morning sickness symptoms. There have been a number of Zofran birth defect research studies detailing links between the drug and birth defects, and these have been presented by attorneys for Zofran claimants in the early stages of litigation that have been underway for months.

The ongoing lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline were consolidated into multidistrict litigation by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in October. The litigation were transferred to the District of Massachusetts federal court where there are currently more than 200 lawsuits pending before U.S. District Court Judge Dennis F. Saylor, IV.

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Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others, and other law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.