Proton Pump Inhibitor

A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is any medication designed to reduce the overproduction of acid in the stomach. PPIs are commonly prescribed for acid-related conditions such as stomach and small intestine ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), inflammation of the esophagus and the rare Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Common PPI brands include:

  • Prilosec
  • Nexium
  • Prevacid
  • Aciphex
  • Dexilant
  • Kapidex
  • Vimovo
  • Protonix
  • Zegerid

One growing segment of PPIs users is pregnant women, who are more susceptible to acid reflux. Sadly, as more doctors prescribe PPIs to help relieve an uncomfortable condition in pregnant women, there are increasing reports of cardiac-related birth defects in the babies of some women using PPIs leading up to or during pregnancy. In fact, studies have pointed to double the risk for birth defects related to taking a PPI both prior to conception as well during the critical first trimester of pregnancy.

PPI-related conditions may include:

  • Atrial septal defects (ASD)
  • Cardiac defects
  • Hole in the heart
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventral septal defect (VSD)

Clearly, taking a PPI when trying to conceive or during a pregnancy is not a risk most women would be willing to take if they knew the facts. PPI drug manufacturers should be held accountable for not making the potentially devastating risk of birth defects clearly known to doctors and women during one the most important times of their lives.

Douglas & London has a history of representing innocent children injured in utero.  Firm partner Stephanie O’Connor has successfully litigated cases of children born with limb reduction deficits linked to a pre-natal diagnostic test known as chorionic villi sampling or “CVS.”   Because of her significant expertise in this litigation, Ms. O’Connor was admitted pro hac vice in several jurisdictions across the country, including Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and California.

Additionally, Ms. O’Connor along with firm partner, Michael London, have extensive experience representing women injured and/or rendered infertile as a result of their exposure in utero to the devastating effects of Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a medication prescribed for women during pregnancy from the 1940s through 1971 which was conclusively linked to the development of a rare form of uterine cancer in fetuses as well as reproductive tract anomalies that interfere with a woman’s ability to conceive and carry a child to term.

Ms. O’Connor and Mr. London have also been actively involved in representing infants born with birth defects as a result of their exposure in utero to antidepressants, such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.

If you or a loved one has taken a PPI and has a child born with heart defect, it’s worth exploring your legal rights and potential for compensation. National personal injury lawsuits are underway in a variety birth-defect cases related to PPIs. For more information, call us today.