Women and families are now coming forward to seek justice and compensation for children who were born with serious birth defects after being exposed to Neurontin in the womb.
What is the problem?
Neurontin (gabapentin) is a powerful anti-seizure drug that it approved for people with epilepsy, but commonly used “off-label” to treat other medical conditions.
Pregnant women with epilepsy often must use a medication to prevent seizures that could harm a developing baby. However, many of these women are not aware of the serious risk of birth defects associated with these medications.
The manufacturer of Neurontin, Pfizer Inc., has paid nearly $1 billion to resolve lawsuits and class actions accusing them of improper marketing.
In 2004, the Justice Department ordered the drug-maker to pay $430 million for marketing Neurontin “off-label” for the following conditions:
- Bipolar mental disorder
- Various pain disorders
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, a degenerative nerve disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Attention deficit disorder
- Drug and alcohol withdrawal seizures
- Restless leg syndrome
- As a first-line monotherapy treatment for epilepsy (using Neurontin alone, rather than in addition to another drug).
Neurontin Pregnancy Risks: Birth Defects
Unfortunately, pregnant women who take Neurontin for any reason — approved or unapproved conditions — may be at risk of having a baby with a birth defect.
Neurontin is a newer type of anti-epileptic drugs, and several studies have found a lower risk of fetal harm compared to other drugs for this condition.
However, Neurontin is still a “Pregnancy Category C” medication, which means it is not approved or recommended for pregnant women because it could pose risks to a fetus.
The Los Angeles Times warns:
“Managing a pregnancy in an epileptic woman has generally involved walking a fine line between controlling seizures and reducing developmental problems.”
As of April 2015, the FDA has not issued any specific warnings about birth defects associated with Neurontin. In comparison, the FDA issued warnings for two “Pregnancy Category D” anti-epileptic drugs — Topiramate (topamax) and Depakote (valproate).
Neurontin Birth Defect Lawyers
Our lawyers are providing free case consultations involving birth defects associated with Neurontin, including but not limited to:
- Cleft lip
- Cleft palate
- Heart defects
- Spina bifida
- Limb reduction defects
- Gastrointestinal defects
- Reproductive system defects (hypospadia)
- And more