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Nexium Birth Defects Lawsuits
Nexium is a drug made from the chemical esomeprazole. Common brand names for the drug also include Essocam and Esomezol. This medication is a proton pump inhibitor used to reduce acid secretion in the gastric parietal cells. Moreover, the drug works by inhibiting the transporter of gastric acid in the stomach. Patients suffering from dyspepsia, peptic ulcer disease, gastroesophageal reflux and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are often prescribed this drug. Unfortunately, use of the drug by pregnant and nursing mothers has recently been linked to birth defects. Attorneys at our law firm are currently investigating this connection. If you or a loved one may be the victim of birth defects after taking this drug while pregnant, please contact our office to find out what legal options are available.
Nexium is part of a group of drugs made from esomeprazole that are proton pump inhibitors. This group of drugs reduces the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. They are typically used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease and other illnesses associated with an excess of stomach acid. Nexium has also been used in conjunction with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug to treat stomach ulcers. It’s worth noting that the drug doesn’t provide immediate relief for heartburn symptoms and needs to be taken for a period of time. These types of stomach acid inhibiting medications are quite popular. About 120 million prescriptions for these types of drugs are written annually. In fact, Nexium made $6.3 billion in sales in 2011. Unfortunately, the safety of these drugs for expectant mothers hasn’t been well researched, and two studies have linked the drug to birth defects.
Common side effects associated with the use of Nexium include headaches, drowsiness, mild diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, gas, constipation and dry mouth. More serious side effects such as hives, difficulty breathing and swelling can be extremely dangerous. Those who suffer this reaction when taking the drug should contact their doctor or a medical professional immediately. Furthermore, those who suffer side effects such as dizziness, confusion, fast and uneven heart rate, jittery muscle movements, jittery feeling, serious diarrhea, muscle cramps, muscle weakness, cough or choking and seizures should contact their physician right away, and stop taking the medication.
Heartburn can often be confused with the initial symptoms of a heart attack. Overlooking these symptoms is dangerous, and those taking heartburn drugs can be more susceptible to confusing these symptoms. Individuals who feel chest pain or pain that spreads from their arms to the shoulders should seek emergency care to ensure they are not suffering from a more serious condition. Additionally, people who are allergic to esomeprazole or benzimidazole such as albendazole or mebendazole should not take this medication as it contains the same active ingredients found in these other drugs. Furthermore, those who suffer from liver disease or low levels of magnesium should not take Nexium. Taking this drug makes it more difficult for magnesium to be absorbed in the body. Finally, the medication can increase the risk of a bone fracture especially for those over the age of 50. Older individuals should have their doctor check their mineral bone density before taking the drug.
Nexium birth defects are a serious concern for parents. In a 2010 study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that mothers who took proton pump inhibitor drugs such as Nexium a month prior to becoming pregnant had a 39 percent increased risk of having a baby born with birth defects. Additionally, the FDA has reported that pregnant rabbits with a high level of proton pump inhibitor drugs were much more likely to miscarry. The University of Pennsylvania published a study in 2010 that found a connection between birth defects and stomach acid inhibitor drugs. Proton pump inhibitor drugs are classified by the FDA under Category B for pregnant women. This means that there is not enough research to identify whether the medication causes birth defects. This classification combined with recent studies has led many parents whose children were born with birth defects to seek the help of expert lawyers, and file a lawsuit. These types of lawsuits typically compensate parents for their medical cost as well as the emotional distress of having a child with birth defects.
Types of Birth Defects
Aside from a miscarriage, several types of birth defects have been associated with stomach acid inhibiting drugs. Below is a list of fetal issues that may have been caused by Nexium.
-Anecephaly: A birth defect when the a portion of the brain and skull is missing in a baby.
-Hydroencephaly: When an baby is born with missing cerebral hemispheres, and the remaining cranial cavity is filled with cerebrospinal fluid.
-Septal defect: When one or more holes are present in the wall of a baby’s right and left heart ventricles.
The study published by the University of Pennsylvania found that the risk of a cardiac birth defect almost doubled when mothers had taken Nexium during the first trimester of pregnancy. These birth defects may be costly, have lifelong consequences for the infant in question and could even cause death. Victims of birth defects caused by this drug have a right to justice. Compensation can help deal with some of these costly infant defects.
Getting Professional Help
If you are or a loved one took Nexium while pregnant or nursing and the baby born suffered from birth defects, it may be related to the medication. Oftentimes, victims of drugs that cause birth defects can receive compensation from the drug manufacturer. In these types of cases, it’s always best to contact an expert lawyer who is experienced in dealing with these matters. Please contact our office as soon as possible to find out about current legal options available.