Terbutaline and Birth Defects Lawsuits
Terbutaline is primarily used to control asthma, but it has been prescribed to many women to help control preterm labor. This use is not approved by the US Food & Drug Administration, is discouraged in prescribing information, and may result in neurologic damage to the brain of an infant if administered during pregnancy. Warnings about this danger have been issued repeatedly to physicians. Studies have shown that there is an increased risk of autism or conditions which are on the autism spectrum in fraternal twins, particularly in male fraternal twins. If you were prescribed terbutaline to control preterm labor and you have fraternal twins who have been diagnosed with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, you and your children may have a claim for damages as a result of medical malpractice. You may also have a claim against the manufacturers and suppliers of terbutaline.
If you are parents of fraternal twins who have been diagnosed with autism or with a condition on the autism spectrum and terbutaline was used to control your preterm labor in Maryland, Pennsylvania, , you may be able to receive compensation for your child's injury. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, PC stand ready to help you. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and how we can help you.
Terbutaline was never intended for use in preterm labor. It was approved for treatment of asthma. It was never studied for use in preterm labor. It was never approved for use in preterm labor. Terbutaline became one of the drugs of choice to control preterm labor, an off-label use of this medication. Many women were given terbutaline pumps that delivered regular doses of terbutaline subcutaneously for several weeks.
Warnings and Cautions
Then, on November 13, 1997, the FDA issued a warning to physicians and other health care providers that there was not adequate data to establish the safety and effectiveness of terbutaline administered subcutaneously for controlling preterm labor. In fact, several studies, the latest being 2007, have noted that drugs like terbutaline are ineffective for preventing preterm birth. Some doctors and insurers recommend that terbutaline and similar drugs not be used for more than 48-72 hours to control preterm labor to permit the administration of steroids to aid in the development of infant lungs and permit transfer of the mother to an appropriate facility to handle preterm birth. As new drugs were approved for treatment of asthma, terbutaline was widely prescribed by obstetricians, and not by pulmonologists or internists.
Risk of Autism
Despite the FDA's warning, many doctors continued to use prolonged doses of terbutaline to control preterm labor. In 2003 and 2004, researchers from the Duke University Medical Center published data showing that in pregnant rats terbutaline passed through the placenta to enter the brain of infants, resulting in changes in their brain structure. This was followed in 2007 by a study showing that the developmental brain changes that result from terbutaline exposure in rats resemble the brain abnormalities described in people with autism. As of this date, however, studies in humans are limited and so the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos is only accepting cases of fraternal twins who have been diagnosed with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder whose mothers were administered terbutaline after 24 weeks pregnancy for two or more weeks.
If you live in Maryland, Pennsylvania, , were prescribed prolonged doses of terbutaline for the control of preterm labor, and you have fraternal twins who have been diagnosed with autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, we can help. Please call or email the pharmaceutical liability lawyers at the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos, PC today for a free consultation.