There are many different drugs and drug combinations that can lead to a birth injury in a fetus or newborn. The use of certain medications during pregnancy, the delivery, and immediately after birth may impact the baby in different ways. The drugs can impact the baby directly, the drugs can compromise the placenta or umbilical cord, or the drugs can impact the delivery and lead to prolonged or extremely strong contractions.
Stern Law, PLLC has over 30 years of experience with medical malpractice cases related to drug errors and dangerous medications. Please call (800) 462-5772 for a free evaluation of your claim.
Common Types of Dangerous Medications
There are several categories and specific drugs that are the most common cause of birth injuries:
- Antibiotics – While there are antibiotics that are safe to use during pregnancy, there are others that can cause destruction of red blood cells, leading to oxygen deprivation, ear damage and hearing loss, jaundice, and brain damage;
- Anti-cancer drugs – These medications fall within the umbrella of teratogens (a substance capable of interfering with or leading to malformation of an embryo or fetus) and may lead to brain impairment, developmental delays, and other serious birth injuries;
- Antidepressants – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been linked to severe birth injuries in children, including persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) and abnormal blood flow;
- Anti-seizure drugs – Certain medications in this category can lead to birth injuries, including heart defects;
- Asthma medications – Some asthma medications may lead to deformities of the esophagus and abdominal wall;
- Benzodiazepines – These drugs may lead to breathing problems and muscular development issues in newborns. Sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications fall within this group of drugs;
- Blood pressure drugs – The medicines known as ACE inhibitors taken during the second and third trimester have been linked to birth injuries. However, there are conflicting studies about whether ACE inhibitors taken during the first trimester lead to birth injuries, or whether it is the underlying high blood pressure that has caused the birth injuries;
- Dermatological drugs – These may cause brain damage, hearing damage and deafness, as well as other serious birth injuries;
- Lithium – Studies have shown that lithium taken within the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to congenital anomalies, including heart defects;
- Live vaccines – Certain vaccines may lead to infections in the fetus;
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs – Salicylates, like aspirin, can lead to harm to the fetus if taken late in the pregnancy;
- Sex hormones – There are demonstrated links between pre-birth exposure to hormones and birth injuries such as heart abnormalities;
- Thyroid medications – Certain thyroid medications, such as methimazole, may lead to an underactive thyroid in your baby.
Although there are many medications that are necessary to your health and the successful completion of your pregnancy, there are many considerations, including alternative treatments. A medical professional has the obligation to discuss all of the options and potential side effects with you to gain a complete understanding of any other drugs or medications that you may be taking to prevent negative drug interactions.
If you or your baby suffered injury because of medication errors, please call Stern Law, PLLC today at (800) 462-5772. Our team is ready to answer your questions and provide free experienced guidance.