Breaking Down the Debate: Is Zofran Safe for Pregnant Women?

A recent news report by Valley News Live brought attention to a 2-year-old girl named Arianah Reisen who was born with a congenital heart defect requiring her to undergo surgery. Her mother, Kylee Riesen, points to the drug Zofran as the main culprit. She tells the news outlet of the time she was prescribed the anti-nausea drug used to treat chemotherapy patients when she suffered from severe morning sickness.

Arianah’s mother isn’t alone in making this assertion. The Zofran lawyers of Williams Kherkher point out on their website that they have been investigating several other cases that show the possible links between the occurrence of serious fetal injuries and the use of Zofran during pregnancy. Aside from congenital heart defects, they found that Zofran could also lead to cleft lip and palate.

With potential risks like these, it’s easy to wonder why Zofran is still a common choice for morning sickness medication. A quick Google search will show conflicting messages about the safety of the drug. One news report will assert that Zofran is completely safe, while another will tell readers to be wary of its dangers. Is there a definitive answer that can end this debate and help ease the anxieties of worried mothers-to-be?

Unfortunately, the short answer is no. While there have been plenty of reports circulating about the dangers of Zofran, the medical community has yet to find a conclusive answer that can help settle this debate. A lot of the scientific research examining the links between Zofran and birth defects has yielded different conclusions. For example, a study published by The College of Family Physicians of Canada in 2012 concluded that using the drug resulted in increased risk of major fetal malfunctions. On the other hand, a study commissioned by Danish Medical Research Council in 2013 found no sufficient evidence to link birth-related issues with the drug. In the same year,

Despite the lack of a conclusive answer, it’s best for pregnant women to err on the side of caution. As a safety precaution, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement warning the public about potential safety issues concerning the drug. It’s important to note that taking Zofran during pregnancy counts as “off-label use”, meaning it was never approved by the FDA for this specific purpose. Medical professionals suggest alternative treatments to treat their symptoms. If you are suffering from severe morning sickness, talk to your doctor about options aside from Zofran.

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