Attention New York Mothers: What You Need to Know About Prescription Drug Birth Injuries

For more than half a century, experts have known that the medications a mother takes during pregnancy can cross the placenta and potentially harm an unborn child. However, determining which drugs cause which potential birth injuries is a complicated task and one that the FDA, doctors, and the public do not know enough about.

Why the Lack of Information?

It can be extremely frustrating to be pregnant, to need prescription drug treatment, and to have inadequate information about how that drug could affect your baby. However, little information is known because it is considered to be unethical to test prescription (or over-the-counter) drugs on pregnant women.

Yet, some pregnant women need prescription drugs. Without them they, and their babies, would not survive the nine months of pregnancy.

What We Do Know About Prescription Drug Birth Injuries

Information about specific drugs is compiled from women who are already prescribed them, and the FDA classifies prescription drugs as follows:
  • Category A: there are large, well controlled studies that indicate the drug is safe for human fetuses. For the reasons described above, few drugs are classified as Category A.
  • Category B: these drugs are believed to be safe but there is less evidence supporting that conclusion than there is for drugs in Category A
  • Category C: there is no information regarding risk to human fetuses. The majority of drugs are classified as Category C.
  • Category D: drugs in this category are known to carry some risk for human fetuses. However, the benefits of the drug may outweigh the risks in certain circumstances.
  • Category X: there is a clear risk of harm and little benefit to pregnant women. Drugs in Category X should not be prescribed to pregnant women.

These current classifications have been criticized as being confusing. In March 2011, the Wall Street Journal reported that an FDA rule that would change this system is now being finalized. The rule would require each drug to carry a summary of the drug's possible effects during pregnancy.*

What We Do Know About Contacting a New York Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child has suffered a birth injury from prescription drugs, then your child may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, future lost income, your family's out-of-pocket expenses and for pain and suffering.

Please contact an experienced New York birth injury attorney today at 1-800-PAGAN-911 for more information.

*Source: Can Mom's Medicine Hurt the Baby? By Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2011