Can Pregnant Women Take Zofran?

When it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991, the drug Zofran – also known by its generic name, Ondansetron Hydrochloride – was originally intended to treat nausea and vomiting caused by other medications. It was mostly prescribed to help cancer patients who are dealing with side effects from chemotherapy and other cancer medications. It was also used to treat surgical patients who experience nausea after their procedures. The drug was a breakthrough and became extremely beneficial.

Years later, the use of Zofran became more widespread. Today, the drug is used as a general treatment to alleviate nausea and vomiting. Aside from cancer treatment and postoperative care, Zofran is currently prescribed to treat symptoms from cyclic vomiting syndrome, gastroenteritis, and pregnancy. The World Health Organization has included it in their list of essential medicines, and considers it an important component to an effective health care system.

Despite these benefits, Zofran – like most drugs – is not without some notable side effects. In general, taking Zofran might cause headaches or lightheadedness, drowsiness and fatigue, as well as constipation. Other possible side effects include muscle spasms, changes in vision, and stomach pain. However, according to Zofran lawyers, these side effects can be a lot more serious when the drug is taken during pregnancy. Unfortunately, there is a possibility that taking Zofran may put pregnant women and their unborn child at great risk. There have been reported cases that it might be the cause of long-term health problems in infants. Specifically, concerns are rampant that the drug might lead to congenital heart defects and deformity like cleft lip and palate.

In 2013, the FDA released a statement identifying potential safety issues with Zofran. They emphasize that the statement isn’t a categorical warning against the use of Zofran, but they do note that they are currently working to gather more information to characterize and determine the risks involved with the drug. In the same year, a study funded by the Danish Medical Research Council found that taking Zofran during pregnancy did not lead to any significant risks.

Due to lack of information that’s available today, the FDA has noted that patients currently taking Zofran should communicate with their health care providers in order to mitigate any possible issues. If you suspect that the drug is causing issues to your pregnancy, consult your doctor to find an alternative treatment.

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