Unfortunately, some doctors may negligently prescribe drugs that may be unsafe for the mother or child to pregnant women or may administer certain labor-inducing drugs that cause harm.
Merck, which produces the Merck Manual Home Health Handbook, notes that about 2 to 3 percent of birth defects are the result of drugs that women take to treat a medical disorder or symptom.
Do not determine which medicines to take or not take on your own. If you have a medical problem that requires a medication such as a heart condition or seizure, then changing or stopping that medicine may pose more of a risk for you and your baby than taking it. Always speak to your doctor first before making any medicine changes.
But if a doctor negligently prescribes or administers a drug and it leads to harm, parents may pursue compensation from the negligent medical professional.
Prescription Drug Dangers During Pregnancy
Certain prescription drugs may pose a risk to the mother or child during pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of starting, stopping or modifying treatment before taking any action. Two examples of prescription drugs that may cause harm are below:
- Paxil: If you are being treated for depression with Paxil, inquire about whether the benefits outweigh the risks and if there are other treatment options. Mothers who take Paxil in the first three months of pregnancy or prior to becoming pregnant have a higher risk of delivering babies with heart defects. Other problems may be associated with use of Paxil during other periods of pregnancy.
- Accutane (isotretinoin): This drug treats severe acne and has been linked to the following birth injuries: facial abnormalities, including cleft palate, ear and eye abnormalities; heart defects; hydrocephaly (enlargement of the fluid-filled spaces in the brain); intellectual disabilities; and microcephaly (small head and brain).
Pregnant women should discuss any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements with their doctor before taking them. These may be linked to pregnancy complications or may interact with other drugs the mother is taking.
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Labor-Inducing Drug Dangers
In some cases, doctors may use labor-inducing drugs to get labor started, though some drugs may be associated with:
- Oxytocin: A naturally produced hormone, taking oxytocin may lead to contractions that are “difficult to manage without pain medication,” according to the American Pregnancy Association. If too powerful and frequent, the doctor may stop use. Unfortunately, improper use of oxytocin causes frequent, powerful contractions may lead to uterine rupture.
- Cytotec (misoprostol): Some may use Cytotec to induce labor, though the FDA has not approved it for such use. The original manufacturer of the drug sent a letter in 2000, as noted in a 2009 article appearing in The Journal of Perinatal Education, warning that it may cause amniotic fluid embolism, bradycardia, uterine rupture, death of the mother and death of the child.
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Contact Chalik & Chalik
If a doctor prescribed or administered one of these drugs and you believe he or she was negligent in doing so, speak to Chalik & Chalik about filing a negligence claim for injuries sustained by you and your baby as a result of their use. Call Chalik & Chalik today 855-971-1701 to set up a free case evaluation.