Protonix is a gastrointestinal drug known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which works by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Doctors prescribe Protonix (pantoprazole) for the short-term treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), because it may help ease the erosion and ulceration of the esophagus and to promote healing. It may also be used for long-term maintenance treatment of GERD, and for other acid-related conditions like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and peptic ulcer disease.
Many pregnant women experience GERD during pregnancy, and therefore may be prescribed Protonix. Unfortunately, recent studies and reports indicate that Protonix and other PPI drugs may increase the risk for Protonix birth defects. Some parents who have had babies born with Protonix birth defects have gone on to file a Protonix lawsuit in the hopes of recovering damages to pay for medical expenses.
Protonix Lawsuit Requires Adequate Medical Records
Parents considering a potential Protonix lawsuit will want to gather medical records showing when the mother was prescribed Protonix, how often she filled the prescription, how long she took the medication, and what dosage she was prescribed. A Protonix lawyer may also require medical records of the pregnancy, and a doctor’s opinion on the alleged Protonix birth defects. Medical records and receipts of all medical care required for the newborn are also important in a Protonix lawsuit.
Drug Linked to Protonix Bone Fractures
PPI drugs like Protonix have been linked to serious side effects like Protonix bone fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine. The risk for these Protonix bone fractures is greatest in those patients who are 50 years and older. In 2010, the FDA warned the public and healthcare professionals thast certain antacid drugs like Protonix may increase the risk of these fractures. The FDA released this information after reviewing seven published studies, six of which reported an increased risk of fractures of the wrist, hip, and spine. The FDA also required manufacturers of these drugs to include warnings about bone fractures on the product labels.
Evidence for Protonix Birth Defects
Though the FDA has not yet warned of Protonix birth defects, early studies indicate a connection between PPI drugs and Protonix birth defects like septal heart defects. A study published in Gastroenterology in 2010, for example, found that those mothers taking PPI drugs during the first trimester had an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with Protonix birth defects. Another 2010 study found that mothers taking PPI drugs before conception were also at an increased risk of Protonix birth defects.
A Protonix lawsuit may involve the review of these and other studies which have indicated a potential connection with Protonix birth defects like septal heart defects, limb malformations, anencephaly, and hydroencephaly.
A Protonix Birth Defects Lawyer May be Able to Help
Parents who have had a child with Protonix birth defects or Protonix birth defects may be eligible for a Protonix lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured by Protonix or have had a child with Protonix birth defects, contact Chaffin Luhana LLP today for a confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.