Drugs During Pregnancy
By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Feb 24, 2016
Use of certain medications by pregnant woman can pose risks to their fetuses. Sometimes, it is unclear what those risks are, and finding the relevant information can be difficult. But pregnant women do have a valuable resource to help them evaluate the potential risks that their medications pose. Teratology information services can provide expectant mothers and healthcare workers with information about the risks of pharmaceuticals they may want to use or prescribe.
Teratology Information Services
A teratogen is a dangerous substance that alters fetal development. Unfortunately, many medications that may be taken by pregnant women include teratogens. Teratology information services keep track of available information about the safety and effects of drugs and other substances on fetuses. Teratology information services compile information to create online factsheets to educate doctors and mothers about the risks. They also maintain helplines that pregnant women can call to speak with an expert, who can give information about the safety of a drug and assess the mother’s risk.
Teratology information services sometimes also conduct studies, using data obtained from pregnant women who contact them after taking certain medications. Some teratology information services may only work with doctors, in order to avoid telling women when to stop taking medications.
Consult with a Doctor
Women should always go see a doctor before trying to conceive in order to ensure that they are not on any medication that could be harmful to the fetus, such as antidepressants and SSRIs. About half of all pregnancies are unplanned, though, so consulting in advance with a physician is not always possible. But if you think you might be pregnant, especially if you are on any medications, it is important to contact a physician immediately.
Not all women can simply go off their medication during pregnancy, however. If a woman is not planning to stop using a potentially dangerous drug during gestation, a doctor can educate her on the risks and ensure that she is appropriately monitored. For example, if a medication is linked to birth defects, a doctor may order more detailed scans to keep track of the fetus’s development.
Personal Injury Suits
If a baby is harmed by a mother’s prescription drug use during gestation, she may be able to file a personal injury suit on behalf of the child. Determining who is liable depends on whose actions were responsible for the mother’s use of the dangerous drug.
A pharmaceutical company that manufactured a drug may be held liable for making an unsafe product in a product liability suit. Sometimes, doctors negligently prescribe medications that expose the child to a risk of harm, without taking the potential side effects into account. The pharmacist who filled a prescription may be responsible if the wrong type or dosage of medication was given.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Dealing with a birth defect or other birth-related injury can be both expensive and emotionally draining. Let a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney help you recover compensation for your child’s injuries. Please contact an attorney at Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. for an initial consultation.
Cohen, Placitella & Roth, PC (215) 567-3500