In 2014, a study suggested that Zofran, a medication commonly prescribed to pregnant women suffering from severe morning sickness, was directly related to/caused birth defects such as a cleft pallet or heart problems. The manufacturer of the drug was hit with almost 200 lawsuits and was under great scrutiny from the public eye due to its perceived danger to the health of pregnant women and their unborn children.
However, a new study led by Marlena Fejzo at UCLA Department of Medicine found no correlation between women taking Zofran and birth defects with their children. Researchers not only found evidence that completely goes against previous claims and concerns of this medication, but found that women taking Zofran during pregnancy were less likely to have miscarriages or stillbirths compared to those who were not on the medication.
Researchers also found that there was no significant difference in reports of birth defects amongst mothers on Zofran and mothers who were not. Based on these findings and with the approval by the FDA, Fejzo speaks highly of the medication and acknowledges that it helped women suffering from extreme morning sickness to get through their pregnancy and have live births.
Fejzo also explains the importance of decreasing nausea and vomiting in a pregnancy and how it helps benefit the child in the long run. Extreme nausea prevents the mother from eating and significantly diminishes the amount of nutrients the child receives while in the womb, so the more a woman can eat the better it is for both mother and child.
Although more research will need to be done to resolve this debate adequately, it is fair to say that Zofran may be more safe to take during pregnancy than previously thought, and has the capability of truly helping pregnant women. But, as with any medication, make sure to talk your doctor before deciding if taking Zofran during your pregnancy is right for you.