Zofran is a drug that was created to help cancer patients manage their nausea during treatments, and to help alleviate nausea in patients recovering after surgery. However, it began being prescribed by doctors for expectant mothers suffering from aggressive morning sickness that was not responding to other remedies. Unfortunately, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, there have been connections between Zofran and birth defects.
Heart defects, cleft palates, and cleft lips are the most common defects associated with Zofran but are not the only ones. Heart defects can be minor and heal on their own in infancy or childhood, but if they are not able to heal, they must be monitored to prevent serious harm and treatment may be required. Moderate heart defects can lead to more serious heart and lung problems in the future. Cleft lips and palates have similar effects. Both cause discomfort for the child, make it difficult for them to feed properly, negatively affect their speech development, and can even affect their oral health and tooth development. Cleft lip and palate can only be corrected through surgery in very early childhood and may require more surgeries later in life.
The manufacturers of Zofran did not conduct proper research before marketing the drug as safe for expectant mothers. The connection between Zofran and birth defects are still unclear and studies vary widely in their conclusions on its use. However, the FDA has announced a warning against its use by expectant mothers. Many doctors are still prescribing the drug to their patients anyway, and many mothers still have healthy babies despite using the drug during pregnancy. But for those mothers whose babies develop a defect because of its use, suffering could have been avoided with proper research and warnings.