More than any other products, medications go through rigorous testing before they’re sold and prescribed to patients. Experiments will be done to pinpoint their therapeutic effects. It should be established whether they can cure what they’re supposed to and to what extent.
Likewise, the same experiments should assess their safety. The manufacturer (and regulatory bodies like the FDA) should be able to find the possibly harmful side effects that the drug can produce at normal, insufficient, or excessive doses. It should also be determined if those side effects happen every time, or if they only occur when the drug interacts with other compounds, or when the person has a special condition, such as pregnancy.
For instance, a recent study (done with house mice as test subjects) by the University of Utah discovered that an antidepressant “at normal prescribed levels” can cause birth defects. The drug used was one proven to increase the risks of birth defects, even if none were reported during the manufacturer’s conventional testing. The lead author suggests that their findings can be used as early warnings to the drug’s significant risks, which both clinicians and the public should be made aware of.
If drugs like this do get marketed and prescribed, and they pose dangers to pregnant women and their offspring, the manufacturer or the prescribing doctor can be held liable. The accountable party may be tried for their probable fault in cases of prenatal complications, birth defects, and other pregnancy problems that arise from using the medication, which will be considered a defective drug. In these scenarios, skilled Bronx injury lawyers can help victims get appropriate compensation and vindication.
The Challenge with Drugs for Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there are various compounds, including medications, which can cross the placental barrier between the woman’s womb and her fetus. These substances can interrupt the normal development of the baby and cause serious birth defects, such as cleft palate and lip, spina bifida (malformation in the vertebrae), and congenital disorders of the heart.
When the pregnant woman has existing conditions like diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain, or mental disorders, the doctor must be highly vigilant about prescribing medications. Drug manufacturers also have the responsibility to label their products accurately, and identify the risks that their medication can cause during pregnancy.
If any of those parties fail to assume their duties and the child acquires defects or gets born with complications because of that lapse, the parents can sue the doctor who prescribed the drug, or the maker of the drug. An experienced Bronx personal injury attorney, such as one from The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein, can help by providing the necessary legal counsel and representation.
(Source: Study shows antidepressants are toxic for prenatal women, National Monitor, February 7, 2015)