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Did Zofran Cause your Child’s Cleft Lip?

Resized did zofran cause your child s cleft lip
Did Zofran Cause your Child’s Cleft Lip?
03.20.2015 News

Cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common type of birth defects in the United States. Cleft lip is a physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip, possibly extending to the base of the nose. Cleft palate is a split in the roof of the mouth. These conditions occur while the baby is developing in the mother, during the early stages of pregnancy. Facial birth defects like these can occur together or independent of each other. Recent studies have shown that a popular anti-nausea medication, Zofran, may increase the risk of these conditions developing in your baby.

New Zofran birth defects research reveals higher risks

Despite the lack of research of ondansetron’s effect on fetal development, the number of prescriptions given to pregnant mothers for this drug, known by the American brand name Zofran, has more than doubled in the past five years.[1] Ondansetron is a drug used to treat nausea and vomiting primarily in patients undergoing chemotherapy. It is not marketed or approved for use by pregnant women; however, many doctors across the country prescribe the drug to expecting mothers to combat morning sickness. Unfortunately, an increasing number of studies conducted around the world have shown up to a two-fold increase in risk for cleft palate when Zofran is taken in the first trimester of pregnancy.[2]

How orofacial cleft birth defects can affect your family

Cleft lip and cleft palate can be extremely expensive conditions to deal with for a family. In addition to problems eating and speaking, children with cleft palate are at increased risk of ear infection and cavities. Though completely obtainable, treatment for these conditions often extends through childhood and involves multiple specialists.

If you were prescribed Zofran or any of its generic equivalents during pregnancy and your child was born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers have served in national leadership in birth defects litigation and can help you determine what to do. Your family should not have to bear the expense of treating cleft lip or cleft palate alone. The attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers have experience confronting pharmaceutical companies about the harm done to families due to their harmful drugs. We encourage you to contact us today to discuss your options.


[1] Gideon Koren, Treating morning sickness in the United States – changes in prescribing are needed, 211 Am. J. Obs. and Gyn.  602 (Dec. 2014).

[2] See Marlene Anderka, et. al., Medications used to treat nausea and vomiting of pregnancy the risk of selected birth defects. 94 Birth Defects Res. A Clin. Mol. Teratol 22 (2012). 

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