A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is a medication commonly prescribed to reduce overproduction of acid in the stomach. Millions of people take PPIs for conditions such as stomach ulcers and acid reflux. Pregnant women, who are especially susceptible to morning sickness, reflux and heartburn, are often given PPIs to alleviate these uncomfortable conditions while they are carrying a child. Some of the most common PPIs include:
- Prilosec (manufacturer: Takeda) / Losec (manufacturer: AstraZeneca)
- Prevacid (manufacturer: TAP Pharmaceuticals)
- Nexium (manufacturer: AstraZeneca)
- Protonix (manufacturer: Wyeth)
What’s wrong with taking PPIs during pregnancy?
Studies have begun to link PPIs with cardiac birth defects in the children of women who have taken a PPI during pregnancy. This is particularly concerning when a woman consumes the prescription-strength medication prior to conception or during the critical first trimester when a fetus’ heart tube is forming and the heart starts beating for the first time. Some of these congenital defects include:
- Atrial septal defects (ASD)
- Cardiac defects
- Hole in the heart
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Ventral septal defect (VSD)
What should I do if I took a PPI and my child has a birth defect?
Legal cases and class action suits against PPI manufacturers are underway for people just like you. As studies continue to show a connection between this class of medication and cardiac birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation to cover your injured child’s future care and medical expenses.
If you or a loved one has a child with a heart defect that you believe may be related to PPI use, please contact the prescription drug attorneys at the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo to schedule a free initial consultation. We are here to help you understand your legal rights regarding PPIs.