A new study published in Pediatric Emergency Care has found a possible connection between the antiemetic drug ondansetron, marketed as Zofran, and the deaths of two children.
The study reports on two cases of fatal cardiac arrest that occurred in children after they were given Zofran. One of the children, a 10-year-old boy with no previous health conditions, was admitted to the emergency room with stomach flu symptoms. After extensive emergency treatment, including two doses of Zofran, the boy became unresponsive and expired soon after. In the other case, an 86-day-old infant with previously unidentified congenital cardiomyopathy was admitted to the emergency room, also with stomach flu symptoms. After being given Zofran, the infant experienced a rapid increase in heart rate, which eventually progressed to ventricular fibrillation, causing the infant to die.
The study concludes that patients with hidden risk factors, such as congenital heart defects, could experience adverse effects after taking Zofran. The researchers behind the study suggest that Zofran be administered cautiously and on an individual basis to patients with risk factors for arrhythmia.
Zofran, an antiemetic intended to treat nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery patients, has also been linked in studies to increased chances of birth defects. Zofran is commonly prescribed to pregnant women for the off-label use of treating morning sickness. However, a study in 2012 found that pregnant women who used Zofran during their first trimester were twice as likely to give birth to a child with birth defects. A 2014 study has also suggested Zofran may double the chance of giving birth to a child with a cleft palate or other congenital defect.
Zofran lawsuit plaintiffs have accused the manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, of marketing the drug to pregnant women while concealing information about the increased risk of birth defects Zofran may pose. Two more Zofran lawsuits were filed last month by women who claimed that taking the drug during pregnancy resulted in serious heart defects in their children.
Patients should consult their doctor or health care provider whenever changing medication. If you or someone close to you experienced birth defects after taking Zofran, contact the attorneys at Lopez McHugh for a free legal consultation. You may be entitled to compensation through your own Zofran lawsuit.