Pregnant women are advised to avoid taking the anticonvulsant medication, Dilantin, due to the FDA's classification of the drug as a pregnancy category D medication. Category D is reserved for drugs which positive human evidence has shown may cause serious, unreasonable harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. For this reason, the FDA has encouraged healthcare providers to weigh all benefits and risks of Dilantin treatment before prescribing the drug to pregnant women. If you took Dilantin during pregnancy and your child was born with a major birth defect, fill out the Dilantin Claim Review Form. Your child may be entitled to financial compensation for his injuries and medical expenses, which you can collect by filing a Dilantin lawsuit or Dilantin class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, Inc.
Dilantin falls into the category of anticonvulsant medications, which were initially intended as a first-line of defense against epilepsy. Since the first anticonvulsant was introduced, these drugs have been indicated for additional purposes, and some have even been prescribed by physicians for off-label purposes. The only approved use of Dilantin, however, is an an anti-epileptic treatment, particularly to decrease the frequency and intensity of grand mal and complex partial seizures. The active ingredient in Dilantin is phenytoin, and the drug functions by slowing down certain impulses in the brain which are responsible for causing seizures. Dilantin was one of the earliest anticonvulsants approved by the FDA (1953), and has since become one of the most popular of its kind on the U.S. market.
As new anticonvulsant studies are conducted, researchers are discovering more and more evidence concerning the potentially harmful nature of these medications. According to extensive research, women who take anticonvulsants like Dilantin while pregnant may significantly increase their risk of giving birth to infants with one or more major birth defects. The alleged connection between Dilantin and birth defects is believed to be due in large part to the drug's active ingredient, phenytoin, which is a known teratogen. The teratogenicity of a drug is defined as its ability to interfere with fetal development and cause fetal malformations. According to medical studies, taking phenytoin during pregnancy may result in severe adverse effects among exposed infants, including heart defects, mild mental retardation and craniofacial abnormalities.
Experts believe that Dilantin and other anticonvulsant drugs may inhibit the body's natural ability to absorb folic acid, a vitamin that is essential in the production of red blood cells. Folic acid is particularly important for women to consume during pregnancy in order to allow a fetus to develop properly. Unfortunately, for women who take Dilantin during pregnancy, the drug may cause an insufficient amount of folic acid to be available to the fetus, potentially resulting in major malformations affecting the brain and spinal cord.
The potentially harmful nature of Dilantin has been apparent for several years. In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers concluded that anticonvulsant drugs are one of the most common causes of potential harm to a fetus in utero. In 2008, the FDA added Dilantin to its "Potential Signs of Serious Risks" list, meaning the agency had identified a potential safety risk requiring further investigation. Unfortunately, despite these potential hazards, Dilantin remains on the market today and may be associated with severe and life-altering birth defects like:
If you are currently taking Dilantin and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician to discuss alternative treatment options. It is never advised to suddenly discontinue use of a prescription medication without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. With your doctor's help, you may be able to research and choose a safer way to treat your condition.
The birth defects allegedly associated with Dilantin have the potential to cause serious harm to an affected infant. Furthermore, seeking proper medical care for these birth defects is likely to result in exorbitant medical costs, which can be an overwhelming burden for many families. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect which you believe to be connected to Dilantin use, contact a qualified Dilantin attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Dilantin lawsuit or Dilantin class action lawsuit against Pfizer in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Dilantin class action lawsuits also bring public attention to the importance of safe medications and the need for more stringent regulations on the potentially dangerous drugs already on the market.
While most consumers understand that no drug is 100% safe, they also expect to be notified of any dangers potentially associated with their pharmaceutical medications. Unfortunately, some drug companies intentionally withhold dangerous drug information in order to avoid negative consequences, such as a drug recall. This deceptive practice robs consumers of their right to accurate drug information, preventing them from making an educated decision to continue or discontinue use of their prescription medications. By filing a Dilantin class action lawsuit, victims of alleged Dilantin birth defects can protect their rights and stand up to the misleading practices of big drug companies.
Too often are birth defect victims and their families taken advantage of during their time of need. While most people believe that their insurance company will protect their best interest following an accident or dangerous drug injury, this isn't always the case. In fact, some insurance claims adjusters are actually trained to deny personal injury claims or offer a settlement far below what the victims is entitled to, in order to save the company money. In some cases, the claims adjuster may even drag the claim out over a long period of time in hopes that the victim will simply give up. Dishonest practices of this kind prevent victims from receiving the compensation they deserve, leaving them to shoulder the burden of treating and living with a birth injury. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect and you believe Dilantin to be the cause, fill out the Dilantin Claim Review Form for a free claim review from a knowledgeable Dilantin attorney. Only by filing a Dilantin class action lawsuit can alleged Dilantin birth defect victims receive the financial compensation they deserve.
Spread the word so women are aware of the risks for both anticonvulsant birth defects and antidepressant birth defects and so families dealing with the hardship and expenses of lifetime care can get financial help from experienced class action attorneys. Learn more about Side Effects from prescription drugs.
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