Zofran (ondansetron), is a prescription medicine approved by the FDA for use by cancer patients undergoing treatments that make them vomit or feel nauseated. Yet, for the past numerous years, the medication has also been prescribed as off-label use to pregnant women. Consequently, many of these women are having infants born with birth defects and other issues, including hearing and vision problems.
Infant Hearing Problems
There are a variety of reasons that newborns may have hearing problems. Although hearing loss is usually rare at birth, it can be caused by low birth weight or a family history of others having hearing loss. Other reasons can include:
- Birth defects
- Injuries to the eardrum
- Wax buildup
Medications taken while pregnant have been linked to hearing issues, as well. Zofran, in particular, has recently come to surface as a medication linked to infant hearing loss. For instance, a Boston, Massachusetts woman who took Zofran while pregnant had an infant with not only with hearing issues, but also a host of other birth defects, including light sensitivity, an ingueno hernia, and webbed toes.
Infants and Vision Issues
Similar to hearing problems, there are also a number of reasons that can cause a newborn to develop visions problems, with the most common including:
- Premature birth
- Blocked tear duct
In some instances, parents aren’t even aware that their baby is having vision problems, as newborns do not fixate their eyes on objects until around six to eight weeks of age. Yet, there are signs to look out for that indicates an infant may have vision problems, which include:
- Eyes not moving normally
- Not fixating on bright lights and other objects by 1-2 months of age
- Bulging eyes
- Drooping eyelids
- The infant’s eyes may turn one way and remain that way for a while
- Head tilting when trying to focus on things
Women who take Zofran while pregnant while pregnant run the risk of having an infant with vision problems. Numerous studies conducted on Zofran indicate that it heightens the risk of infants develops numerous types of birth defects.
Hearing and Vision Tests for Infants
During the first hours of life after an infant is born, physicians will usually perform a hearing test, and if there are problems, the parents are alerted. However, with vision, it’s typical for physicians to use eye drops or ointment in the baby’s eyes, per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, eye exams are generally not performed on newborns as their eyes are still adjusting to their new world.
Treatment for Infant Hearing and Vision Problems
Mild or moderate cases of infant hearing and vision problems are usually controlled with proper treatment, which will vary depending on the issue. For example, infants who have trouble hearing may be candidates for cochlear implants, which can return their hearing to normal.
In severe cases, surgery may be needed to correct hearing and vision problems.
If you Took Zofran While Pregnant
If you took Zofran while pregnant and your baby developed vision problems, hearing problems, or any other birth defect, you have the legal right to file for damages against the negligent party. GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Zofran, promoted the medication as off-label use for morning sickness, even though it was never approved by the FDA for this kind of use. In turn, numerous parties have already filed Zofran lawsuits against the company.
Keep in mind that caring for an infant with hearing and/or vision problems can get quite costly. From tests, treatments, hearing aids, visual aids, and more, the expenses associated with these types of issues often are higher than an average family can afford. A Zofran lawsuit can help you obtain compensation to pay for these expenses, as well as damages for pain, suffering, lost wages, and much more.