The joys of pregnancy are unfortunately mixed with a variety of aches and pains. From back strains to swollen feet, expectant mothers deal with a lot in their quest to bring new life into the world. To help women deal with these issues, physicians often prescribe pain medications as a way of managing the symptoms and making them more bearable for the pregnant mother. However, recent studies suggest that the usage of these medicines during pregnancy may have an adverse effect on the health and well-being of the newborn baby. When prescribing doctors do not adequately consider these risks and an injury results, a court of law may find liability and award compensation.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a safety announcement regarding the level of risk involved in taking pain medications during pregnancy. Acknowledging concerns about the safety of these medications, the government agency reviewed results from several published studies on the issue. The medications and injuries considered were:
***Prescription NSAIDs, to include ibuprofen, and naproxen. Some studies suggest a link between these medications and incidents or early term miscarriages.
***Opioids, which include oxycodone, morphine and codeine. These medications are available strictly by prescription. Several research studies concluded that, when taken in the first trimester, these medications are linked to birth defects in the brain or spine of a newborn.
***Acetaminophen, which is available by prescription or over-the-counter. It is also found as an active ingredient in numerous other medications for cold and allergies. Some studies suggest that there is a link between this medication and the occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children born to women who took it at any point in their pregnancies.
The Doctor’s Responsibility
While the FDA declined to make a definitive statement about risks associated with pain medications and pregnancy, the government officials did advise women and doctors to carefully consider these medicines before taking them. “It is important to carefully weigh the benefits and risks of using prescription and OTC pain medicines during pregnancy,” stated the FDA report.
Doctors are advised to speak with each patient individually, providing full disclosure about the pros and cons of taking these medications. Unfortunately, this level of communication does not always occur. Instead, pregnant mothers are prescribed medications without any warning of the possible consequences. Believing in the professional opinion of their physicians, these women take the medication without hesitation. When injuries occur, families are left to deal with the pain and suffering, not only at the time of birth, but for the years that follow. With the assistance of an experienced lawyer, these families can secure the compensation they deserve. Physicians should be held responsible for their roles in the these birth injuries and a court of law can ensure that result.
If you were prescribed pain medication during your pregnancy and your newborn experienced a birth injury of any type, contact the experienced birth injury attorneys of Levin & Perconti today at (877) 374-1417 for a free consultation.
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