Use of certain prescription medications during pregnancy may increase the risk of babies being born with pulmonary atresia, a life-threatening heart defect that occurs when the pulmonary valve (opening on the right side of the heart that regulates blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs) does not form properly.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with pulmonary atresia after the mother took a prescription medication in pregnancy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: Louisiana Couple Alleges Son's Pulmonary Atresia Cause by Zofran
April 14, 2016 - A man and woman from Louisiana have filed a product liability lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) alleging that its wrongful conduct and fraudulent misrepresentation regarding the anti-nausea drug Zofran caused their son to be born with severe heart defects including pulmonary atresia and an enlarged right ventricle. Plaintiffs claim it was GSK’s responsibility to adequately warn of the potential health risks of using Zofran in pregnancy, and that although the company had received hundreds of reports of adverse events associated with the drug, it failed to disclose this information to doctors and patients.
What is Pulmonary Atresia?
Pulmonary atresia (PA) occurs when the heart’s pulmonary valve - located between the right ventricle and pulmonary artery - is not formed properly.
The pulmonary valve has three leaflets that function like a one-way door, allowing blood to flow forward into the pulmonary artery, but not backward into the right ventricle. In newborns with PA, defects with valve development prevent the leaflets from opening; therefore, blood cannot flow forward from the right ventricle to the lungs. Because of the low amount of oxygen provided to the body, pulmonary atresia is also known as "blue-baby syndrome."
Risk of Pulmonary Atresia & Birth Injury with Antidepressants
A number of antidepressants have received considerable scrutiny in recent years because of the large number of life-threatening and serious side effects such as pulmonary atresia in children born to women who took them during pregnancy. Studies have shown that certain antidepressants are more likely to produce deadly side effects than other drugs.
Which Medications have been Linked to Birth Defects?
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
- Zofran (ondansetron)
Treatment for Pulmonary Atresia
A drug called prostaglandin E1 is commonly used to help the blood circulate and keep the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) open between the pulmonary artery and aorta. Other treatments include heart catheterization, open heart surgery, reconstructing the heart as a single ventricle, or total heart transplantation.
Do I have a Pulmonary Atresia Lawsuit?
The Defective Drug & Products Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant drug birth defects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new pulmonary atresia cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if your baby was born with pulmonary atresia and you feel a prescription drug may be to blame, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.