Recent studies have identified a link between the maternal use of certain popular prescription medications and a severe birth defect known as hypoplasia. This congenital abnormality occurs when one or more of the child’s organs or tissues are underdeveloped due to an insufficient number of cells present during fetal development. Prescription drugs associated with hypoplasia include antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as epilepsy drugs like Depakote, Depakene and Tegretol.
Hypoplasia Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child who has been diagnosed with hypoplasia after being exposed to a prescription drug in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
Which drugs have been linked to hypoplasia?
Concerns regarding the safety of a number of prescription medications have been raised recently because of studies that have established a potential connection between the maternal use of these drugs during pregnancy and the development of hypoplasia and other birth defects. According to research, women who take the following prescription drugs while pregnant may significantly increase their chance of giving birth to babies with hypoplasia:
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
- Depakote CP
- Depakote ER
- Valproate Acid
- Divalproex Sodium
- Tegretol (carbamazepine)
Hypoplasia is a rare congenital birth defect characterized by the severe underdevelopment or incomplete development of any number of different tissues or organs. More specifically, the term refers to an inadequate or below-normal number of cells present during fetal development. Hypoplasia can occur in any tissue or organ, and is descriptive of many medical conditions including (but not limited to) underdeveloped:
- labia majora
- tooth caused by oral pathology
- chambers of the heart in hypoplastic left heart syndrome and hypoplastic
- right heart syndrome
- optic nerve in optic nerve hypoplasia
- facial muscle
- small bowel
Types of Hypoplasia
The three most commonly reported types of hypoplasia involve the fingers, nails, and midface. Hypoplasia of the fingers occurs when the baby is born with smaller than normal fingers and/or thumbs. This anomaly may affect bone, muscle, and nerve tissue development. Signs and symptoms of hypoplasia of the fingers may include the following:
- underdeveloped fingers
- abnormal tendons, muscles or bones
- webbed digits
- failure to develop bones, causing the finger to be attached only with soft tissue and skin
Hypoplasia of the nails occurs when the fingernails or toenails are either severely underdeveloped or missing altogether. This defect is sometimes accompanied by hypoplasia of the fingers. If fingernails are present, they tend to be barely existent or covered with cracks or furrows. Hypoplasia of the nails has the potential to cause openings in the fingers that can leave the affected infant more vulnerable to infection and disease.
The most serious form of this defect, hypoplasia of the midface is characterized by the underdevelopment of the eye sockets, cheekbones, and upper jaw. Babies born with this condition will have bulging eyes because the remaining structures of the face will continue to grow normally, and the affected areas will give the appearance of being shrunken. Hypoplasia of the face can lead to severe complications such as dry eye, obstructive sleep apnea, and abnormal jaw alignment.
The good news is that most types of hypoplasia can be corrected with surgery. There are many different options available for treatment. First, the baby will be evaluated by a team of doctors who specialize in the treatment of hypoplasia. Depending on the type of hypoplasia the infant suffers from, the team may consist of plastic surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, learning and developmental specialists, or speech therapists. Treatment will depend on the severity of the defect and the structures involved.
Prescription Drug Birth Defects
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) measures the safety and efficacy of a medication by determining whether or not the benefits outweigh the potential risks. However, this value can only be conclusively assessed if all drug information is provided by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical firms intentionally withhold valuable data in order to prevent bad press and costly recalls. This shady practice puts millions of consumers at risk for giving birth to babies with catastrophic congenital birth defects like hypoplasia. The only way to protect yourself and your child from further harm at the hands of big drug companies is to hire a qualified hypoplasia lawyer to represent your case.
Is there a time limit in filing a Hypoplasia Lawsuit?
Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their hypoplasia lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential hypoplasia birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.
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