Zofran Birth Defect: Clubfoot
Zofran (Ondansetron) is an anti-nausea and vomiting medication that works by regulating the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. It was developed by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in the 1980s and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991 as a treatment for nausea and vomiting while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and for post-surgical nausea and vomiting. GlaxoSmithKline then went on to urge physicians to prescribe the medication as an “off label” remedy for morning sickness in pregnant women. “Off label” is the practice of prescribing a medication for an ailment that the FDA has not approved the use of that medication to treat.
Prescribing a medication off label is perfectly legal if the physician feels the positive effects of the drug outweigh the possible negative effects of the drug. Unfortunately, the use of Zofran was later linked to serious side effects and birth defects in children born to mothers treated with the medication during pregnancy. Among the birth defects Zofran use may increase the risk of, are heart defects, kidney defects, cleft palate, and clubfoot.
If you were prescribed Zofran while you were pregnant and your child was born with clubfoot, you and your family may be eligible for compensation from the medication’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline. But, keep in mind that GlaxoSmithKline is a huge corporation that employs legions of lawyers to help mitigate their liability for the medications they produce. In order to have a successful claim against such a powerful adversary, you need to have an aggressive and tenacious Zofran attorney representing you. The attorneys at Farah & Farah have been successfully representing injury victims for over 35 years and will put their knowledge and skill behind your claim. We are now investigating Zofran-related injury claims nationwide. For a free consultation, call Farah & Farah today at (800) 533-3555.
What Is Clubfoot?
Clubfoot, or club feet, is a general name for the birth defect congenital talipes equinovarus (CTEV). CTEV is characterized the following deformities in one or both feet:
- The foot (particularly the heel) is smaller than normal in most cases.
- In some instances, the foot may point downward.
- The front of the foot may be rotated inward, toward the other foot.
- In extremely severe cases, the bottom of the foot can point up.
Treatment for Clubfoot
There have been many methods of treatment over the years. The most modern and effective treatments involve Casting and Manipulation and Achilles Tenotomy. Here is some more information on these treatments:
- Casting and Manipulation involves gently stretching and manipulating the infant’s foot into the proper position and usually begins soon after diagnosis when the child’s bones are most malleable. The infant’s foot and leg are then put into a cast to hold them in the proper position. This process is usually repeated weekly, gradually stretching the baby’s feet into proper position. It will generally take about six to eight weeks of the process for any improvement to be seen.
- Achilles Tenotomy usually takes place after an infant goes through the casting and manipulation process. An Achilles Tenotomy involves a relatively minor operation in which a tiny incision is made at the back of the ankle and the Achilles tendon severed. After this procedure is completed, the doctor will apply a new cast to help keep the baby’s leg and foot in the proper position while the tendon heals. In about three weeks, the baby’s Achilles tendon should have healed to the correct size.
Once the tendon has healed and the cast has been removed, parents can help the further the child’s progress by performing gentle stretching exercises with the baby’s feet and legs. The baby’s doctor can instruct the parents on the proper techniques to be used. Your physician should be able to help you learn gentle stretching exercises that can help. The child may be required to wear a brace and wear a special shoe for a period of time to completely repair the feet and legs.
Compensation for Your Child’s Club Foot Injury
If your child is born with CTEV, you’re obviously going to be incurring substantial medical bills for some time. If the birth defect was linked to your being treated with Zofran while pregnant, you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses. A successful birth defect claim can secure you compensation for the following damages:
- Current medical bills
- Future medical bills related to the child’s initial injury
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent injury or disability
- Costs of physical therapy
- Lost wages for work missed to attend doctor appointments
- Punitive damages
To find out more about your legal rights and options, and how to go about a pharmaceutical injury claim regarding your child’s birth defect, call a Zofran birth defect lawyer at the law offices of Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation.
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