Zofran is a drug conventionally used to treat nausea and vomiting induced by chemotherapy treatments. While the drug is very effective for this purpose, it was recently revealed that it was being marketed off brand as a viable treatment for severe morning sickness in pregnant women. The drug has since been potentially linked to birth defects in the children of women who used the drug during pregnancy. The makers of the drug, GlaxoSmithKline, are being sued for damages by women who feel their children’s birth defects are the result of adverse side effects of the drug which they were not warned of.
Birth defects potentially resulting from the use of Zofran while pregnant include: congenital heart defects, cleft lip, cub foot, and cleft palate. Many allege that GlaxoSmithKline knew as early as 1992 that Zofran could potentially cause harm to the unborn children of pregnant users. The company continued to market the drug to pregnant women despite the knowledge of these risks, potentially endangering the children of these women without informing them of the risks associated with this treatment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zofran for the use of treatment for chemotherapy patients experiencing nausea and vomiting side effects. However, according to the website of Zofran attorneys at Williams Kherkher, “many argue that Zofran was never intended or approved by the FDA to be used by pregnant women for the purpose of mitigating the effects of morning sickness.” If this is true, GlaxoSmithKline had a duty to warn mothers of these risks, and a moral obligation to not market this drug for purposes they knew to be harmful. As a result, some children may be born with Zofran-related birth defects.