Heartburn Medication & Birth Defects

Heartburn Medication & Birth Defects

Heartburn Medications Linked to Birth Defects

If you, or someone you know, has taken prescription strength heartburn medicine and given birth to a child with a heart defect or heart condition, you may be entitled to claim money damages.

Burg Simpson is currently investigating claims that prescription strength Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat heartburn, morning sickness and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), may increase the risk of heart defects in newborns when taken by pregnant mothers.

Drugs under investigation include:

  • Aciphex®
  • Nexium®
  • Prevacid®
  • Prilosec®
  • Protonix®

Reported injuries:

  • Tetralogy of the Fallot
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Ventricular-septal defect
  • Ebstein’s Anomoly
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection TAPVC
  • Transposition of the great vessels
  • Truncus arteriosis
  • Conotruncal heart defect

PPIs are among the top selling drugs in the world, with more than 100 million prescriptions written in 2009 alone.  PPIs are frequently prescribed to pregnant women to treat heartburn, a condition that affects approximately 25% of expectant mothers. Despite the widespread use of PPIs in pregnancy, some analysts have questioned the safety of the drug.

In 2001, a study of 995 women who used Prilosec during their pregnancy revealed that five children born to the sample group were stillborn and, that overall, there was a possible increase in incidents of congenital heart defects. The author of the report did conclude that these effects could have occurred at random.

In 2010, two separate studies did raise further concerns about the use of PPIs in expectant mothers. Firstly, research conducted by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, and published in the journal Gastroenterology, found that taking PPIs in early pregnancy was associated with a doubling in the risk of newborn cardiac birth defects, such as septal defect. The US research team analyzed data of 200,000 pregnant women from the Health Improvement Network (THIN) database.

A second study conducted by Danish researchers and published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that while the number of children with birth defects born to women taking PPIs was not statistically significant, women who took the medications in the four weeks leading up to pregnancy had a 39 percent greater risk of giving birth to children with birth defects.

Though neither study proved conclusively that PPIs cause birth defects, they do raise important questions regarding the safety of these types of drugs, and their continued use during pregnancy.


Heartburn Drug (PPI) Lawyers

If you or someone you know was prescribed heartburn medication while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a heart defect, it is important that you contact an experienced drug recall lawyer as soon as possible. If you wait, evidence that could help establish your case may be lost, damaged, or even destroyed. In addition, statutes of limitations put strict time limits in place by which lawsuits must be filed. These time limits vary depending on the state in which you live.

As one of the nation’s leading prescription drug litigation law firms, Burg Simpson is committed to providing legal help to families and children harmed by prescription proton pump inhibitor drugs.

Call toll-free 1-888-895-2080 or contact us for a no-obligation review of your case.

Nexium® is a registered trademark of AstraZeneca group of companies.
Prilosec® and Losec® are registered trademarks of AstraZeneca group of companies.
Prevacid® is a registered trademark of Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.
Protonix® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.
Aciphex® a registered trademark of Eisai Co., Ltd

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