Exposure to dangerous drugs has been linked to a host of birth defects in unsuspecting mothers. All-too often, birth defects must manifest in babies before the FDA and drug manufacturers are aware of the potential fetal danger. Other times, manufacturers were aware, or should have known, of the potential for danger and face serious lawsuits and jury verdicts. In either situation, parents are often left desperate to improve their baby’s health and are left with questions as to how a seemingly harmless prescription drug could cause such devastating effects. The most common prescription medications causing birth injuries are outlined below.
• Anti-Depressants: Anti-depressants are drugs that regulate chemical imbalances in the brain to improve symptoms of depression, anxiety and other mood or mental disorders. Once thought safe for pregnant mothers, these drugs are no longer approved for use after 20 weeks as they are linked with a number of birth defects including spina bifida, cleft palate, club foot and fetal death.
• Accutane: Accutane is a prescription medication used to treat severe systemic facial acne and other serious skin diseases. The FDA has not approved the use of Accutane under any circumstances by any pregnant woman. Women of child-bearing age must adhere to a 23-day waiting period if they allow their prescription to lapse longer than 11 days after issuance.
• Sleeping Pills & Anxiety Medication: Sleeping pills often contain the drug Benzodiazepine. Also found in tranquilizers, this chemical is extremely dangerous to a developing fetus and should be avoided by women in all stages of pregnancy, including those planning to become pregnant.
• Other Prescription Drugs: Other drugs potentially linked to birth injuries, defects or complications include Aspirin, Lithium, Thalidomide, blood pressure and asthma drugs, thyroid medication, anti-seizure drugs and certain anti-cancer drugs.
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