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Doctors Must Pay Close Attention to Medication Given to Expecting Mothers

The upcoming birth of a child is one of the most exciting yet stressful periods in many families’ lives. It is for that reason that the quality of the medical professionals working with mothers while pregnant and during the birth is of the utmost importance. Families depend on the choices made by those health professionals to guide the pregnancy along and ensure no additional risks of complications develop.

One often overlooked component of that care involves the medications prescribed to the expectant mother. The Wall Street Journal reported recently on expanded concerns about birth complications caused by certain medications given during a pregnancy. For example, earlier this month the Food and Drug Administration issued strong warnings that mothers who take Topamax have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with cleft palates or cleft lips.

That warning is only the latest in a string of similar proclamations by the Administration. Doctors had previously been advised that expectant mothers who take antipsychotic drugs-Haldol, Seroquel, Abilify-are at risk of suffering withdrawal for prolonged periods of time after birth. The asthma drug terbutaline was also shown to risk heart problems (capable of death) in the pregnant mother.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also commented on the subject, noting that pain relievers like Vicodin, OxyContin, and even Tylenol may increase a child’s risk of heart defects, glaucoma, and other issues.

The possible birth injury risks make it imperative that doctors carefully weigh a medication’s possible benefits with the potential harm. Haphazard, routine, and off the cuff medication decisions by a less than thorough physician could have terrible effects on an unborn child’s development and the health of the mother.

Our Chicago birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe that the vast majority of doctors are well capable of making expert decision in these matters to best preserve the health of the child and mother. However, there remain a small group of negligent physicians who do not provide the level of care demanded of expectant mothers. These providers unnecessarily increase the risk of complications and often poorly handle problematic births. If you or someone you know has suffered from this sort of poor care, please contact an Illinois injury attorney to share your story.

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