According to a new study just published online in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, women who took Percocet, Oxycontin, or Vicodin during their early stages of pregnancy are two times as likely to deliver babies with serious neural tube defects, including spina bifida. However, researchers qualified this doubled risk as “modest” and occurring in just almost six out of every 10,000 live births. Still, not even one baby should be born with a birth defect because his/her mom took medication while pregnant.
Prescription painkillers are the number to choice of drug when it comes to drug abuse-marijuana being the first-and some 22 million Americans have misused prescription pain meds in the last decade. That’s a lot people using painkillers-and if this use can lead to birth defects in babies, consumers should know.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the study, which was authored by Slone Epidemiology Center postdoctoral associate Mahsa Yazdy, who is at Boston University. The study looked at data from phone interview with new mothers during a 12-year span. Moms of more than 305 children who were born with neural tube defects were compared to the moms of over 20,000 infants belonging to two groups: one of babies with other birth defects not linked to opioid use and the other of ‘healthy” babies.
Use of prescription pain medications in the two months after a pregnant mom’s last period is the description given to the word “Periconceptual.” While a connection between opioid painkillers taken during pregnancy and the greater risk of neural tube birth defects was found, a cause-and-effect relationship was not identified.
Regardless, if your child was burn with neural tube defects and you or your wife/partner/spouse took prescription pain meds while pregnant you may want to explore your legal options by speaking with an experienced Boston drug defect law firm today.
Neural Tube Defects
These defects can involve birth defects of the spine, brain, or spinal cord. They usually develop early in the pregnancy-MedlinePlus says, frequently they occur before a woman is even aware she is pregnant.
Anencephaly and spina bifida are the two most common kinds of neural tube defects. Anencephaly usually involves the lack of full development of the brain or skull. Spina bifida is typically accompanied by nerve damage and maybe partial paralysis in the legs. These defects are incurable and usually permanent.
Living with a neural tube defect can make it difficult for not just babies with the condition but also for their families. The medical expenses, emotional pain, and psychological toll can be high. You want to work with a Massachusetts drug injury lawyer that understands the extent of damages and losses sustained and who knows how to go after drug manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and others and who will fight for the compensation that you are owed.
Altman & Altman LLP also represents clients whose babies were born with birth defects because of SSRI antidepressants or dangerous drugs. We also have Boston birth defect lawyers at our firm who handle Massachusetts medical malpractice cases.
Some Painkillers Tied to Certain Birth Defects in Study, WebMD, September 10, 2013
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Boston Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Over Meningitis Outbreak Linked to Massachusetts Compound Pharmacy Proceeds, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 19, 2013
Study Links Antidepressant Use to Birth Defects, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, September 19, 2013
Johnson & Johnson Adds Red Warning Alert to Tylenol Caps Following Slew of Drug Injury Lawsuits, Massachusetts Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, August 31, 2013