Vicodin®, also sold as Lortab, has the generic name hydrocodone/acetaminophen, since it is a combination of these two pain-killer drugs. Many thousands of women have been prescribed Vicodin®, for chronic pain, acute/severe pain, or post-operative pain.
Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone: A Potent Combination
The acetaminophen in Vicodin®/Lortab is a pain reliever, but it’s not as powerful as the hydrocodone in these drugs; however, the acetaminophen increases the effect of the hydrocodone. As an opioid, hydrocodone is quite potent, and it can be addictive — so much so that the FDA tried to get Vicodin® banned from the U.S. market in 2009.
A Baby’s Withdrawal from Mother’s Vicodin® Use
Vicodin® is a Pregnancy Category C drug, meaning that while there is no clear risk of birth defects associated with the drug, a risk has not yet been ruled out either. Physicians may prescribe these drugs to pregnant women if they feel that the benefits of this drug outweigh the risks.
When a woman takes Vicodin® during her pregnancy, there is a possible risk that her baby will suffer withdrawal symptoms after birth. These might include:
- Fast breathing
- Hyperactive reflexes
- Increased stools
- Irritability; excessive crying
- Shakiness (tremors)
Opioids and Birth Defects
Because the hydrocodone in Vicodin®/Lortab is an opioid, it presents a possible risk of birth defects, including heart defects. Despite the lack of clear evidence, some researchers believe that babies whose mothers take the drug while pregnant are at an increased risk for certain birth defects.
For example, a major study in 2011 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) showed that the babies of women who were taking an opioid such as Vicodin®/Lortab in the first trimester have two times the risk of:
- VSD (ventricular septal defect)
- HLHS (hypoplastic left heart syndrome)
- Spina bifida, a neural tube defect
- Gastroschisis, an abdominal wall defect
Don’t Delay! Call Clay!
If your child was born with a birth defect and you were prescribed Vicodin® during your pregnancy(particularly during the first trimester), don’t delay! Call Clay!. Our lawyers represent families affected by a number of birth defects. To schedule a free consultation, please contact our firm today.