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Prevacid Birth Defects Lawsuit
Prevacid is a pill that is typically used for treatment of heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux disease), irritations of the esophagus, and conditions that cause the body to create too much acid in the stomach. The medication has been increasing in popularity since its initial release date in 2008, but some people are becoming more aware of the possible side effects of the drug for women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant. Some of the side effects are mild, but there is a new side effect that is now being researched.
What Prevacid is used For
The treatment of acid, stomach, ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRD) is something that many people need, and they do not have to look far to find some sort of temporary relief medication. This particular medication is becoming increasingly popular for use by pregnant women and women who wish to become pregnant as well as other people who are not pregnant or able to become pregnant.
The over the counter version of the medication is available at a lower dosage than the prescription version, but the ingredients remain the same. Almost everyone has had at least one episode of heartburn, and each person will concur that it is painful, irritating and sometimes unbearable. The acids in your stomach and esophagus cause various ailments and diseases, and Prevacid is meant to treat or cure all of those issues.
Whether a person is taking the over the counter version or the prescription version, the pill will likely have the same effects. The prescription pill is meant for those who suffer from these ailments over a long period of time, or it is meant for people who have severe cases of the aforementioned ailments. Since the dosage is higher than allowed for over the counter medications, a doctor’s approval is necessary if one wishes to take the prescription strength medication, and doctors have definitely been handing out those prescriptions.
Prescription Versus Over the Counter
While many people believe that there is no difference in the medications that are prescribed versus the medication that can be bought without a prescription, this is not the case. Because Prevacid24 is the over the counter version, the potency is not nearly as high as Prevacid in prescription form.
The side effects that are listed are the same for both versions because the actual active and inactive ingredients in both versions are the same. The sole difference between the medications is the dosage level that is taken per pill. Due to the cost of buying prescription medications, many people have actually bought the over the counter version in hopes of achieving the same outcome.
The prescription version of the medication is just as (if not more) popular than the over the counter version. With sales skyrocketing more and more each year, the drug is clearly doing its job to prevent acid and esophageal ailments that it is meant to help. Unfortunately, some studies are now stating that the pill is more harmful than it was originally believed to be.
Research shows Negative results for Pregnant Women
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug for pregnant women in the B level. When tests were performed on animals, human doses showed no negative effects for pregnant women, so there was no cause for alarm. As time has progressed, more studies have begun popping up.
In 2010, the University of Pennsylvania performed a study which consisted of testing 200,000 pregnant women for side effects caused by the drug. This study found something that no one had yet guessed. Women who were taking Prevacid while pregnant had doubled the chances of giving birth to a child with cardiac birth defects. The proton pump inhibitors were said to have been causing this issue, and has since been researched again.
Another study in 2010 revealed the opposite results. The study was performed in Denmark and it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. This study showed no accelerated risks for pregnant women, but they did find risks of birth defects in women who conceived while taking Prevacid for at least four weeks prior to conception had 39 percent more risk to giving birth to a child with birth defects.
The only safe conclusion from these studies is that neither study proved that proton inhibitors caused birth defects, but both studies showed an elevated risk of defects in those who were actually taking the medication. Both studies are labeled as inconclusive, and the studies should continue so that consumers may receive a finalized answer on the risks associated with taking Prevacid while pregnant or wanting to become pregnant.
What you should Do
If you have reason to believe that your child was born with birth defects because of Prevacid use, you should contact a lawyer immediately. Due to the nature of the research, there needs to be more people coming forward to report the incidents. If an attorney believes that you have a case, whether research has proven it or not, the attorney will be able to search out more people like yourself.
People who become victims of tragedies because a product did not receive proper research are entitled to compensation when the case can be proven. When trying to decide which steps to take, you should consider speaking to an attorney first.