Morning sickness is one of the most common symptoms experienced by plenty of women during pregnancy. The non-profit group Pregnancy Sickness Support estimates that at least 70 to 80 percent of women experience what medical professionals identify as nausea and vomiting during pregnancy or NVP. Most of the time, cases of NVP are manageable through simple home remedies. However, there are times when the symptoms become intense and cause women to become dehydrated and lose important nutrients. In these cases, doctors try to mitigate symptoms through the use of prescription medication.
Zofran, also called Ondansetron, is among the most common anti-nausea drugs prescribed to pregnant women. It was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the nausea and vomiting symptoms caused by cancer treatments and surgery. However, mostly due to marketing by drug manufacturers, the off-label use of Zofran for NVP treatment remains rampant.
While Zofran proves to be an effective treatment for severe cases of NVP, there have been recent reports that highlight its potential danger to the mother’s unborn child. In fact, the website of lawyers Williams Kherkher indicates that there may be links between the use of Zofran and devastating birth defects and injuries. Even the FDA has taken notice. Through a Drug Safety Communication statement released in 2013, the FDA warns the American public about elevated risks involved with taking 32-mg dosages of the drug. In a similar vein, a study conducted by the Canadian Motherisk program urged pregnant women to take caution when prescribed to take Zofran, noting that the potential risks might outweigh any benefits.
Despite these warnings, plenty of pregnant women continue to use Zofran to alleviate morning sickness symptoms. If you are concerned about the medication you are currently taking, it would be best to have an open dialogue with your physician and ask about possible alternatives.