Zofran and Heart Defects

Zofran is a drug that restricts the chemicals that cause nausea and vomiting. It was originally created to help cancer patients that were undergoing treatment, but has since been prescribed to expectant mothers for morning sickness. Sadly, according to the website of Williams Kherkher, there has been a connection between taking Zofran and a baby being born with a congenital heart defect. Studies have shown that Zofran can be the cause of three main heart defects.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD). This condition is when a hole is formed in the wall between the upper two chambers of the heart. This hole allows oxygenated blood to flow from the left side of the heart to the right, where it mixes with non-oxygenated blood. The combination is then pumped into the lungs, which can overtax them. If the hole is small it can heal in infancy or childhood, but if it is large it will not be able to do so. The extra flow of blood overworks the heart and can lead to the right side weakening.

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD). This condition is very similar to ASD, but the hole that occurs is in the lower portion of the heart, in the wall between the right and left side. Again, this allows oxygen rich blood to flow into and mix with oxygen poor blood. This overtaxes the heart and lungs, and can lead to other heart or lung diseases.

Heart Murmur. This is when the heart beat has any sounds that are outside of normal. There can be innocent murmurs, which usually don’t need any treatment and can correct themselves in childhood. Other murmurs, however, can lead to much more serious heart defects and need to be monitored to prevent serious harm to the child.

Zofran is controversial. Some studies and doctors believe it to be safe, but others have found evidence of the medication causing serious birth defects. The FDA has put out a warning against its use, but many doctors prescribe it anyway. Many mothers have taken it and had healthy babies, but it is important to be aware of the risks involved with its use.

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