Despite its one-time popularity as a morning sickness drug, the federal Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, never approved ondansetron, marketed most commonly as Zofran, as a drug Georgia mothers could use in pregnancy. The drug was approved to treat the nausea symptoms of cancer patients, who would often get very sick, and potentially dehydrated, after taking chemotherapy that tended to upset their stomachs.
This does not mean, however, that doctors do not continue to prescribe the drug, especially in cases of severe morning sickness. After all, 4 out of 5 women experience some sort of nausea during early pregnancy, with about 1 in 6 needing medicine in order to control vomiting. Despite this, there are relatively few products on the market to treat this condition. Although not a morning sickness treatment, ondansetron is still the go-to drug for the treatment of this condition’s most serious symptoms.
This is not to say that the drug is not controversial or is perfectly safe. In fact, this law office has serious concerns about the effects this drug might have on pregnant women and their babies. Scientific studies of the effects of the drug have thus far yielded inconclusive results, with some studies tying the drug to an increased risk for cleft palate and other serious birth defects.
At least one expert has stated that the drug should not be used as a first-line defense against morning sickness, and doctors should opt instead for lifestyle changes and another medication which is specifically approved for the treatment of morning sickness. Those who have already taken Zofran to combat morning sickness and who feel they or their children were injured as a result should consider evaluating their legal options, which could include filing a medical product liability lawsuit.