Drugs Prescribed by Doctors Can Sometimes Cause Birth Defects

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center say that out of close to 500,000 women, nearly half of them were not informed by their doctor that a certain prescription drug could lead to birth defects. Failure to inform them of this potential side effect could have led to patients not taking the proper care to prevent pregnancy while taking the prescription drug.

Common drugs that can lead to birth defects if used during pregnancy include:

• Acne medicines
• Antibiotics
• Sleep aids
• Cholesterol drugs
• Blood thinners

Failure by a medical provider to inform you of certain risks associated with a prescription drug might be grounds for a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit if injuries or death results.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study’s authors did concede that their method of research might have skewered their discoveries. Data was drawn from insurance company billing records, and it is possible that doctors did not use the proper insurance codes to indicate that they had advised a patient about a medication’s side effect.

The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) classifies drugs according to the risks they pose for causing birth defects. It is possible, however, for a doctor to be too busy to look up a drug’s FDA classification.

Based on the studies’ results, family doctors and internists were more likely to prescribe high-risk drugs to women ages 15-44. Dermatologists, obstetricians, and psychiatrists were not as likely to prescribe high-risk drugs to females of childbearing age.

If a drug prescribed by your doctor proves to be a defective or dangerous drug, and you become ill or your child is born with a birth defect because of the defective medication, the negligent doctor and the pharmaceutical company could be held liable.

Common medical errors that can lead to medical malpractice cases:

• Errors in ordering medications
• Errors in implementing laboratory investigations
• Filing system errors
• Errors in responding to abnormal laboratory test result
• Errors in ordering medications
• Errors in communicating with patients about treatments
• Errors in communicating between care providers in different settings
• Wrong diagnosis
• Delayed diagnosis
Prescription Drug Birth Defect Risks Not Always Known to Women, Newsinferno.com, September 25, 2007
Types of Medical Errors Commonly Reported by Family Physicians, The Robert Graham Center

Related Web Resource:

Medical Malpractice Overview, Justia

Annals of Internal Medicine

If you or your child has sustained injuries in Maryland or Washington D.C. because of a medical error, you should speak with a personal injury attorney right away. Lebowitz and Mzhen has handled many medical malpractice and products liability cases for patients that have been injured because of the negligence of a medical provider, doctor, nurse, pharmacy, hospital, or pharmaceutical company.

Contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today.

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