The Harmful Side Effects of Zofran

Posted by Lawsuit Information on July 3rd, 2015

All too often these days a doctor does not spend much time talking with a patient about their medical history and other prescriptions they may be on. This can lead to complications with prescription drugs. To make matters worse, often the patients do not do any research about a drug before trusting the doctors word that they should be taking it. Some drugs are pushed onto patients and doctors for things they are not approved by the FDA for. Unfortunately many people are becoming victims in this pharmaceutical age and experiencing terrible, sometimes deadly side effects. You should always look to see how long a drug has been on the market and find out if there have been serious complications or lawsuits against it. Find out how much testing was done on it, read the side effects and interactions and see what it is approved for.

If you took Zofran because you had cancer and were undergoing radiation or chemotherapy in order to reduce vomiting, you took the medication for an approved use. Furthermore, if you took it for postoperative nausea, you also took it for an approved use. However if you were prescribed Zofran during your pregnancy it’s important to know that this is not an approved use of the drug by the FDA and you were sold an ‘off label’ drug. If you have not taken the drug but may become pregnant in the future, it’s very important to know that the manufacturer of the drug GlaxoSmithKline is the target of many malpractice lawsuits.

It is a tragedy that this drug was not approved by the FDA to help nauseous mothers but was given to them anyway because the company saw a window of opportunity to make money. The company deliberately distributed this drug to mothers knowing it would pass through the placenta and breastmilk.

Besides creating birth defects, there are other side effects that anyone taking the drug needs to be aware of. You may experience uncomfortable diarrhea and constipation. Some people experience muscle spasm, blurred vision or dizziness. Some people become tired, get rashes, a fever or headaches. If you experience severe symptoms you should consult with your doctor immediately.

If you notice something out of the ordinary like you lose your vision, your muscles become stiff or your stomach hurts, you should definitely contact your physician right away as these may be warning signs of more serious conditions. Pay attention to how you feel when you start a new drug and if something starts to get worse or you start feeling short of breath or have chest pain, make sure to get to the doctor right away.

Some people also have allergic reactions to Zofran and it’s important to know what those symptoms might be as well. The most common allergic reaction symptoms include feeling itchy skin or a tickle in your throat. Sometimes breathing can become hard if your throat begins to swell and close. Of course if you have any allergic reaction, you should immediately stop taking the drug and call your doctor. There are some life threatening allergic reactions unfortunately that have been linked to Zofran. One of the severe allergic reactions is called cardiac arrhythmia which is either fast or slow heartbeat. Two very severe reactions include anaphylaxis which can cause death or a muscle spasm in the bronchial passage way.

Interactions with Medications and Vitamins

It’s important to know that both drugs and vitamin supplements can adversely interact with Zofran. You should always be extremely careful when combining medications and avoid doing so if at all possible. Some of the interactions may make this drug ineffective or may make other drugs ineffective. There are six main drugs that are known to react very badly with Zofran but this by no means mean they are the only ones. Apomorphine which is a drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease should not be taken with Zofran. The combination of these drugs puts you at risk for a low blood pressure that is extremely dangerous. Other drugs with bad interactions include enzyme inducers as well as enzyme inhibitors such as:

*Dilantin (also known as phenytoin)
*Cytochrome P-450
*ULtram (also known as tramadol)
*Rifadin (also known as rifampin)
*Tegretol (also known as carbamazepine)

Remember that this drug can be very harmful for pregnant individuals and it can be harmful to the unborn child. Part of this hazard comes from a potential life threatening drug interaction which is linked to serotonin syndrome which can happen in pregnant mothers.

Even if you experience a symptom that is not listed, if it is alarming, you should contact your doctor immediately. Sometimes these symptoms may be hard to pinpoint and may be vague like just feeling cold and shivering or feeling anxious. Some people experience a change in their heart rate or start feeling light headed or short of breath. If you have trouble going to the bathroom this is also something you should not ignore.

Birth Defects Linked to Zofran

No one would knowingly prescribe or take a drug if they knew it caused the terrible birth defects that Zofran has. A mother would refuse the drug if she knew it could cause her baby to have a hole in it’s heart or a club foot. Doctors wouldn’t prescribe a drug if they knew it causes cleft lip or clep palae and it’s important to share this information about all the lawsuits and birth defects that have been linked to deformities in the heart as well as the skull. It’s important that people know that at least two infant deaths have been linked to this drug as well. It’s a moral tragedy that the company is still marketing this product knowing about these harmful birth defects.

The reason we say that the company knows the drug can cause serious birth defects is because it has been studied and proven. A respected publication in Canada produced an article reporting the findings. Unfortunately there was a direct cause linked from the drug to infants that had been birthed with cleft palate. Of course much more research is needed but there is enough to conclude that the risk is not greater than the reward. Mothers than experience severe morning sickness are at risk for malnutrition and so are their babies but there are other anti-nausea medications for morning sickness that are FDA approved for that specific purpose.

This company is acting out of greed because all the way back in 2012, when they lost a lawsuits for illegal marketing, they surely noticed the 3 billion dollar fine they got slapped on the wrist with. This is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and they seem to be able to get away with murder unless the public stands up to them.

Speak with other women and study the healthy alternatives to keep morning sickness at bay. There are options such as a healthy diet and getting cardiovascular exercise to deal with morning sickness. Eating a clean and plant based diet that is full of nutrients can also be helpful. The more healthy a mother is, the less sick she will feel. Essential oils are another great aid for mothers and a naturopathic doctor can help pregnant mothers find solutions that do not have harmful birth defects as side effects. Even when taking herbs or essential oils, a pregnant woman should always work under the supervision of a qualified herbalist or naturopath because many herbs are not recommended to pregnant mothers.

Zofran is Bad For Certain Medical Conditions

You don’t have to be pregnant to experience a bad side effect from Zofran. It’s important to know that this drug can interact very adversely with heart conditions. Anyone that has a preexisting heart condition should not take Zofran because a scientific study has linked it to causes irregular heartbeat. This study which was conducted in 2011 basically showed that the drug created changes in the electrical pulses sent to the heart. This is exactly why it’s crucially important that your doctor is patient and speaks to you about any medical condition you have and incase your doctor has not studied the interactions fully or forgets, you must do your own research as well.

Just think how easy it would be for a person with a heart condition to be prescribed Zofran after surgery without much thought. It could cause a fatal occurrence called torsade de pointes which is a rapid heartbeat. The QT interval is at risk for being lengthened when taking Zofran and it’s important people know that taking the drug can cause this variation of ventricular tachycardia.

Alas, there are more medication conditions that are of concern and should not be combined with Zofran. Remember this is not just a warning for pregnant mothers. People with congestive heart failure, low magnesium or potassium as well as liver disease and PKU (also known as phenylketonuria) should talk to tell their doctor about these conditions to see if this drug is safe for them. As previously discussed any heart condition including an irregular heartbeat needs to be discussed with your doctor. Inherited heart conditions like a long QT or something that you are at risk for because it runs in the family also needs to be considered. In each case, it is strongly advised you not take Zofran.

Please note that tf you have electrolyte abnormalities which are called hypokalemia or hypermagnesemia, you are advised by the FDA to use EKG monitoring if you are prescribed this medication.

Ultimately, if you’re not a pregnant mother and a doctor wants to give you Zofran for chemotherapy or radiation nausea or postoperative nausea, you still need to closely monitor your symptoms. Just because you take it for one of it’s approved FDA uses, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily in the clear.

What To Do In The Case of an Overdose

If you suspect someone has overdosed or you yourself have overdosed on this drug you must go the hospital right away and the first thing you should do is call 911. They consider an overdose to be about ten times more than the prescribed amount but if you are a small person, that could be even less. A symptom of overdose might be loss of eyesight, blacking out, really bad constipation or a really strange heartbeat.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Here are some questions to ask yourself before starting a new medication in order to protect yourself. These questions are also helpful for any loved ones you may be assisting. Always think about how much time the doctor spent with you. You want to make sure they spent adequate time asking you about your personal and family medical history. You also want to make sure they speak to you about what drugs and supplements you are currently taking. The doctor should not make hasty decisions when prescribing medications and if you feel rushed, you should either do more research or get a second opinion before taking the drug. Unfortunately it’s becoming common place to only see a doctor for a few rushed minutes because the population has become so large but this is why we must take measures to protect ourselves.

Often times it is a software system that will notify a doctor of what medication would be best for you but there is always room for error and you need to pay attention to protect yourself. Many times it is the physician's assistant prescribing or talking to you about your medications and sometimes care providers may assume someone else asked you about your medical conditions or other drugs you are taking. There is risks that you should consider such as your doctor or nurse making a mistake, being inexperienced or overtired. Remember not all care providers are created equal, they are only human.

Even your pharmacist may not know all the possible side effects and interactions so be sure to do your research and not just go based on the word of your doctor or pharmacist.

As consumers we must remain aware that doctors get kickbacks in monetary value from drug companies for prescribing their drugs. This is a broken system that breeds greed and unequal playing fields for people that need valuable information. Many people are not aware that one of the leading causes of death is actually complications with prescription drugs. There are now so many doctors that one person sees, it’s almost impossible for the doctor to and patient to keep track of all the information. Remember, eating a clean diet and getting regular exercise is th best health care plan available and is preventive.

Finally, if you’ve never considered seeing a naturopathic doctor, they can guide you to take on a preventive diet and healthier lifestyle without the harmful side effects. We hope to see people moving more in this direction in the future.

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Joined: June 4th, 2015
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