Vicodin (generic: acetaminophen and hydrocodone) has established itself as one of the premier narcotic pain relievers of the last two decades. As a prescription pain reliever, Vicodin is to be administered in the presence of moderate to severe pain. However, the use of this powerful pain reliever by certain populations may result in severe complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Vicodin has been linked to a number of severe birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy.
If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with any of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Vicodin in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Vicodin Birth Defects Lawsuit Overview
Vicodin was first introduced to the U.S. market by Abbott Laboratories on January 7, 1983. Fallowing immediate approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Vicodin was indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe pain. Since being released into interstate commerce, Vicodin has established itself as one of the most widely used prescription pain relievers on the U.S. market.
Vicodin consists of two components. The first of which is acetaminophen, an analgesic pain reliever. As an analgesic pain reliever, acetaminophen changes the way the body senses pain. Acetaminophen is used to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches, muscle aches, menstrual periods, colds and sore throats, toothaches, backaches, and reactions to vaccinations. The second component in Vicodin is hydrocodone, an opiate narcotic. Hydrocodone relieves pain by changing the way the brain and nervous system respond to it. When combined, these active ingredients assist each other in the reduction of even severe pain.
Unfortunately, the introduction of Vicodin to certain populations may result in severe complications. Pregnant women who receive Vicodin treatment may significantly increase their risk of giving birth to a child with severe, life-threatening birth defects. Due to the severity of such abnormalities, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation regarding their potential Vicodin birth defects lawsuit.
Vicodin Birth Defects
Maternal treatment with opioid analgesics such as Vicodin may result in the following birth defects:
- Spina bifida
- Congenital heart defects
- Conoventricular septal defects
- Atrioventricular septal defects
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
- Atrial septal defects
- Tetralogy of fallot
- Pulmonary valve stenosis
Vicodin Birth Defects Study
A recent CDC study attempted to determine, whether or not, treatment with an opioid analgesic medication just before or during early pregnancy was associated with the occurrence of certain birth defects. The study used data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a population-based, case-control study to understand the causes of and risk factors for major birth defects in the United States. It is important to note that data revealed that treatment with opioid analgesics just before or during early pregnancy was reported by 2% to 3% of the mothers.
After reviewing the data, findings related to congenital heart defects were consistent with findings of previous studies showing links between the use of codeine during the first trimester and the occurrence of some heart defects. Congenital heart defects are among the most common birth defects, affecting nearly 1% of U.S. births, and are the main contributor to infant death attributable to birth defects.
Vicodin During Pregnancy
The FDA uses a category system to classify the possible risks to a fetus when a specific medicine is taken during pregnancy. Pregnancy Category C is given to medicines that have not been adequately studied in pregnant humans but that do appear to cause harm to the fetus in animal studies. The FDA currently classifies Vicodin in Pregnancy Category C, which means that it may have the potential to cause breathing problems or addiction/withdrawal symptoms in a newborn.
Do I Have a Vicodin Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Vicodin lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with any of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Vicodin in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.