Pregnancy can be a wonderful, but often demanding experience. In addition to the physical and emotional changes that occur, the nausea and vomiting that can accompany pregnancy can be difficult to manage. Ondansetron, also known by its brand name, Zofran, is a medication used to treat nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. It can provide relief to expectant mothers and allow for better management of their condition. It is important for pregnant women to discuss their options for nausea and vomiting relief with their healthcare provider before beginning a course of treatment. This blog post will provide an overview of Zofran and discuss the potential risks and benefits associated with its use for pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting.
And then there are the shady studies that hid problems with the drug.
There are some businesses that always prioritize profits over people and manipulate data to persuade you to use their product. Do you remember when cigarettes were thought to be good for your health? They do this on purpose to conceal side effects that you have a right to be unaware of.
The advice to take Zofran while pregnant is a prime example of willfully concealing or ignoring evidence that this could be risky.
Zofran did not increase the risk of birth defects, according to a reassuring study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February 2013.
However, after the 10th week of pregnancy, when the baby’s risk of heart defects, cleft lip and palate, and other serious birth defects had passed, half of the study’s participants began taking Zofran.
Six months after this study was published, another team of researchers looked at the same database of pregnancy outcomes — but found that Zofran doubled the risk of having a baby with a heart defect, leading to a 30% overall increased risk of birth defects. About 5% of babies exposed to Zofran had a birth defect, compared to 3.5% of babies who were not exposed.
Want to feel even worse about the doctors recommending using Zofran when pregnant?
The Justice Department ordered GSK to pay $3 billion in July 2012 for illegally marketing a number of medications off-label, including Zofran to expectant mothers experiencing morning sickness. This indicates that despite the lack of available safety information, the Zofran manufacturer deliberately, knowingly, and actively sought out pregnant women to purchase this medication. Profit over people.
GSK also paid kickbacks to doctors who prescribed Zofran. Be aware that other medications can cause similar side effects, including the vaccines your child will receive.
Zofran, the most popular morning sickness medication in the US, has never been authorized for use during pregnancy.
If that doesn’t work for you, I frequently recommend the following two alternatives before prescribing ondansetron:
Initially, ondansetron was used to treat post-operative or chemotherapy-related nausea. It quickly became the morning sickness medication that was most frequently prescribed in the US. According to estimates, one in every four pregnant women receives an ondansetron prescription.
Ondansetron, however, may be prescribed by your doctor if you experience extreme nausea and vomiting that does not subside with these measures or other anti-nausea medications. The medication can prevent you from losing weight or dehydrating, which could be harmful to you and your unborn child.
Original work suggested no increase in birth defects in women who took ondansetron early in pregnancy. However, more recent studies have raised concern over the possibility of a doubling in risk of cleft palate and heart defects in newborns exposed to ondansetron during pregnancy.
I want to reassure you if you are expecting and took ondansetron or Zofran® while you were pregnant that it probably had no effect on your unborn child. The risk to your baby is still extremely low, even if there is an increased risk for cleft palate or heart defects.
Is it safe to take Zofran while pregnant?
Does Zofran help with pregnancy nausea?
Why is Zofran used in pregnancy?
Will taking Zofran hurt my baby?