Did you know that if you take Relafen during pregnancy, it may affect your unborn child? New research has linked the use of the arthritis medication Relafen during pregnancy to an increased risk of having a baby with clubfoot, spina bifida, cleft lip, cleft palate, amniotic band syndrome, and two types of eye defects that cause blindness.
What You Can Do & How a Relafen Lawsuit Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Relafen induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has had a baby with a birth defect after taking this medication, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free Relafen lawsuit consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Relafen Litigation Group or call us toll-free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
Relafen (nabumetone) is a painkilling medication usually prescribed for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It belongs to a class of drugs called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which inhibit a certain enzyme that is involved in your body’s inflammation and pain response. Relafen treats the symptoms of arthritic diseases — not the diseases themselves. Arthritis may be caused by inflammation of the joints. It can also be caused by the tissue between the joints breaking down, causing the bones to rub against each other when a person moves.
NSAIDs are the most widely-used medications in the world, because they treat a variety of common ailments. Other types of NSAIDs include aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. They are most often used to treat mild to moderate pain, reduce fever, inflammation, and arthritis. Most people have one or more of these medications in their medicine cabinet.
Relafen and Pregnancy
New research has found that Relafen and other NSAIDs may cause serious birth defects when pregnant women took them late in pregnancy. Though the link needs to be explored with further research, pregnant women are warned to talk to their doctor before using Relafen or another NSAID. It could cause harm to an unborn child.
The research, which found a link between Relafen and other NSAIDs and birth defects was announced in December 2011. The researchers found the strongest association when pregnant women took NSAIDs late in pregnancy, though there was also a slight increase when the women took these medications early in pregnancy.
The researchers found a link between Relafen and the following birth defects:
- Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate were 30-80% more likely to occur, and can result in severe facial disfiguration and serious problems eating, sucking, swallowing, and breathing. Cleft lip can be a minor notch in the upper lip, or a large space that extends into the nose that requires extensive reconstructive surgeries as the child grows older. When a child has cleft palate, the roof of the child’s mouth is separated, and it may involve the hard and soft palate. This defect often prevents a baby from eating properly.
- Clubfoot occurs when parts of a baby’s foot and leg do not develop properly — not because of the positioning of the child in the womb. The ligaments and tendons are abnormally short, causing one foot or both feet to be turned inward at a sharp angle at the ankle, so the foot resembles a club. Sometimes children with this condition undergo surgery; other times, they undergo a gradual stretching of the ligaments, which is possible because these parts of the foot are very flexible in newborns.
- Amniotic Band Syndrome is a rare complication of pregnancy that can cause a baby to be born with physical deformities. It occurs when bands in the amniotic sac separate from the wall of the uterus, causing the baby to become entangled. The extent of the problem depends on what part of the baby becomes entangled, and how tightly the bands are wrapped.
- Birth Defects of the Eyes, called “anophthalmia” when the baby is born with no eyes, and “microphthalmia” when the baby is born with abnormally small eyes. Both these rare birth defects result in blindness. These birth defects were three times more likely in babies born to mothers who took NSAIDs.
- Spina Bifida is a rare but serious birth defect that occurs when the protective covering to a baby’s spinal cord fails to close early in fetal development, leaving the spinal cord exposed to amniotic fluid in the womb. The spinal cord can become severely damaged, causing paralysis and severe disability.
The researchers who found the link between NSAIDs and the birth defects listed above studied information on 15,000 women whose babies had birth defects. The information the researchers gathered about these women’s use of medication during pregnancy was then compared to 5,500 women whose babies had no defects. The researchers looked for links between medication use and 29 different birth defects — though the vast majority of birth defects were unassociated with the maternal use of NSAIDs, a few were. The researchers concluded that women may endanger their unborn child by taking these medications during pregnancy, though the link is still tentative, and the chance is still small.
Do I have a Relafen Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Relafen induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has had a child with a birth defect after taking Relafen, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Relafen Lawsuit Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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