Commonly prescribed to treat infertility, Clomiphene is often given to induce ovulation in women that do not produce eggs on their own. Ohio Clomid lawsuit attorneys note a correlation between the use of Clomiphene and certain congenital birth defects that may affect the children of mothers who used Clomiphene.
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What is Clomiphene?
Clomiphene, also known as clomifene and sold under the brand names Clomid and Serophene, is an oral medication used to help women produce eggs and ovulate more regularly. Despite the drug’s ability to increase ovulation in women who are unable to become pregnant, a number of side effects and risks are associated with the use of Clomiphene. Examples of Clomiphene risks and side effects include nausea, multiple pregnancies, risk of birth defects, abnormal vaginal bleeding, breast discomfort, and hot flashes.
How Does Clomiphene Work?
Clomiphene is a commonly prescribed fertility medication used to induce ovulation in women who are unable to produce eggs but wish to become pregnant. Clomiphene treatment works in a similar way as estrogen, a female hormone that aids in the production of eggs in the ovaries. Clomiphene is sometimes prescribed as a treatment for male infertility, however the drug is considered “off-label” and has not been tested or approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for this purpose.
Clomiphene Birth Defect Risks
A study reported on by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), notes a correlation between clomiphene use and serious birth defects, including septal heart defects and Dandy-Walker malformation.
According to the CDC report, serious birth defects have been associated with fertility drug use in women who said they used Clomiphene more often than mothers of children without birth defects. Those birth defects include:
- Anencephaly: abnormal development of the brain and the bones of the skull
- Septal heart defects: a congenital heart defect in which an abnormal connection between the heart’s lower chambers develops, resulting in a hole in the heart
- Aortic coarctation: a narrowing of the aorta, often occurring at birth
- Esophageal atresia: a rare birth defect in which the baby is born without part of the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach
- Craniosynostosis: a birth defect in which a baby’s brain cannot grow in its natural shape and the head is misshapen
- Omphalocele: a birth defect in which the intestines or abdominal organs are located outside of the body due to a hole in the navel area
In a small number of cases, the CDC reported the following side effects:
- Dandy-Walker malformation: malformation of the brain, cerebellum, and the surrounding fluid-filled areas
- Muscular ventricular septal defect: a heart defect in which a hole develops in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart
- Cloacal exstrophy: a rare congenital malformation of digestive system, genitalia, and bladder
Fertility Drugs and Autism
In 2010, a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported an association between ovulation inducing drugs and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and concluded the use of such drugs should be considered as a potential risk factor for ASD in future studies. According to an article in Time reporting on the study, the association between fertility drugs such as Clomid and autism also appeared to strengthen with exposure.
Other Clomid Side Effects
According to the FDA, other side effects that have been reportedly linked to pregnancies involving ovulation induction treatment with Clomid during clinical trials include cleft palate, club foot, down syndrome, harelip, spina bifida, and other visual disorders.
How an Ohio Clomid Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Clomid may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Clomid, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Clomid, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of an Ohio Clomid lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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