Lawsuits Continue to Mount against Nausea Drug Believed to have Caused Birth Defects

Lawsuits Continue to Mount against Nausea Drug Believed to have Caused Birth Defects
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November 2, 2015

A popular nausea medication used for morning sickness has come under fire for allegedly causing birth defects.

About 60 lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) claim that women who were prescribed the drug Zofran during their first trimester gave birth to children with, sometimes severe, birth defects. The lawsuits allege that GSK pushed doctors to prescribe the drug off-label for severe morning sickness even though there were no studies proving its safety in pregnant women.

Introduced in 1991, Zofran is a nausea medication often taken by patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

According to the Legal Herald, GSK marketed the drug to doctors as a morning sickness treatment that was safe for both the mothers and the baby. But, since that marketing campaign began, there have been more than 200 medical reports indicating the children born to mothers who took Zofran had been diagnosed with birth defects.

Legal Herald goes on to write that the complaints include a variety of birth defects including transposition of the greater vessels (TGV), atrial septal defect (ASD), ventricular septal defect (VSD), cleft lip, cleft palate, and clubfoot.

The complaints were recently consolidated and moved to be heard by one Massachusetts judge.

A 2012 federal investigation lead to GKS pleading guilty and paying $3 billion to settle criminal and civil fraud charges for promoting Zofran and other drugs in a false or misleading way.