Lyrica Birth Defect Mass Tort Lawsuits and Lawyers
Since its approval in 2004 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Lyrica has been used by millions of individuals to treat a variety of disorders and conditions. Lyrica may be prescribed to assist a diabetic individual struggling with pain associated with peripheral neuropathy. The drug can also be used to treat non-diabetic neuropathic pain as well as fibromyalgia-related pain. Lyrica has also been used to treat individuals with certain psychiatric conditions and epilepsy.
In recent years, however, evidence has surfaced suggesting that pregnant women who take Lyrica during their first trimester are at a significantly higher risk of giving birth to a child with serious birth defects.
Important Information About Lyrica
Lyrica is also known by its generic name, pregabalin, and is manufactured by Pfizer. While Lyrica is used primarily to treat fibromyalgia and epilepsy, the drug may also be used to treat other, similar conditions. Lyrica works by reducing the speed and frequency of impulses in the brain that can trigger seizures. It also interferes with the chemicals in the brain that are involved in making the body aware of pain sensations.
In 2016, a study was published that suggested women who took Lyrica during the first trimester of their pregnancies were approximately three times as likely to deliver a child with birth defects than women who did not take the drug.
These birth defects have included:
- Heart defects and malformations;
- Abnormalities in the central nervous system (CNS);
- Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), a condition in which the fetus is not growing as it should inside the mother’s womb (this puts the child at a greater risk for health complications before, during, and after birth);
- Reproductive complications and impairment.
As a result of this new finding, the FDA has recommended that women abstain from using Lyrica during pregnancy except in rare cases where no other medication is available to treat the condition affecting the mother and the mother and her doctor determine risks of using Lyrica are outweighed by the potential benefits.
Is Pfizer Responsible for Birth Defects?
The manufacturer of any drug like Lyrica owes the drug’s potential consumers certain obligations. These include the obligations to produce a drug that is safe and effective and to warn potential consumers about side effects (including potential birth defects) that can result from using the drug. Drug manufacturers who fail to carry out these obligations may find themselves the target of product liability lawsuits and/or mass tort lawsuits.
Women who used Lyrica during pregnancy and whose children were born with one or more birth defects have filed lawsuits against Pfizer claiming the company did not adequately warn them that using Lyrica while pregnant could lead to birth defects.
Women who filed such lawsuits or who are participating in mass tort lawsuits against Pfizer may be able to recover compensation that includes:
- Medical expenses related to care for themselves or their child that is attributable to a Lyrica-related birth defect;
- Lost wages due to time these women missed from work for doctors’ appointments, hospitalizations, and other similar, necessary commitments due to their child’s birth defect(s);
- The cost of assistive devices, prescriptions, home healthcare services, and other medically-necessary products to assist their child in managing their child’s birth defect(s);
- Mental pain, anguish, and suffering experienced by themselves and/or their child.
Other forms of compensation may be available to women if they are able to show that the loss for which they are seeking compensation is causally connected to their use of Lyrica.
If a loss or expense would not have occurred absent the mother’s use of Lyrica while pregnant, then the woman’s claim for compensation will likely be successful.
Seek Legal Assistance Following a Lyrica-Related Birth Injury
Now that the dangers and side effects of Lyrica are better understood, women who believe their child’s birth defect was caused by the use of Lyrica while pregnant must act quickly to protect their legal rights. A woman who has an otherwise valid claim against Pfizer may find that she is precluded from pursing that claim if she waits too long to file her lawsuit. Many states only give women whose children were injured by Lyrica a few years within which to investigate and file their case.
Stern Law, PLLC is a resourceful and experienced Lyrica injury law firm dedicated to helping those impacted by Lyrica side effects and birth defects. When you contact Stern Law, PLLC, we will investigate your circumstances and help you understand your legal rights and the steps you must take to protect them. Where your child’s birth defects are determined to be caused by Lyrica use, we will aggressively represent your interests and work to help you obtain compensation for your losses, your expenses, and your mental distress.
If you or a loved one believe you and/or your child have been negatively impacted by Lyrica, call Stern Law, PLLC right away at (844) 808-7529.