In 2011, the FDA released a safety an announcement stating that Diflucan can cause birth injuries that are both permanent and severe. Fluconazole, the active ingredient in the drug, is used to eliminate systemic and localized fungal infections. Studies have shown that high concentrations of the drug are found through many of the body’s fluids, including breast milk. Women should avoid breastfeeding children while they are on fluconazole, because high doses can interfere with renal function. Any woman who has received the medication and suffered complications during or after pregnancy may want to consider contacting a birth injury attorney to discuss their options.
Fluconazole is similar to many other antifungals in how it stops infections. It prevents fungus from converting lanosterol, a steroid, into ergosterol. Ergosterol is not found in mammals, and it functions similar to cholesterol in humans. It is an essential element of the cell membrane in fungus, and its absence prevents the infection from reproducing and spreading. It is primarily used to eliminate yeast infections and thrush. However, long-term use creates resistance in the fungus, which may urge a doctor to prescribe higher doses of the substance. These higher doses are more likely to cause Diflucan associated birth injuries.
The FDA considers the standard dosing (around 150 mg) to be under pregnancy category C. This category indicates that the drug has shown adverse effects in animal fetuses. This category also states that there are no adequate studies that show these effects in humans. However, in large doses (between 400 and 800mg) the FDA states that fluconazole is under pregnancy category D. This class is for medications that have shown positive evidence of risk on human fetuses. This data is based off of investigation data of studies on humans. Most women that require a birth injury attorney have taken higher doses of fluconazole. Only drugs in pregnancy category X are considered to be higher risks to a human fetus. Doctors are strongly warned against prescribing fluconazole to pregnant patients. This drug is primarily a teratogenic drug, which means it is most likely to cause damage during the early stages of pregnancy when the child is still an embryo.
Diflucan birth injuries can manifest in many different ways. Among them are a broad, short head, an abnormal looking face, an oral cleft (opening in the palate), abnormal skullcap development, thin ribs, bowing of the thigh bones, muscle weakness, joint problems or congenital heart disease. Experts state that these defects are similar to those observed in animal studies.
Doctors are told by the FDA not to prescribe fluconazole to pregnant women if there is an alternative medication available. Doctors that do not heed this warning may be committing medical negligence. If this occurs, the family may consider hiring a birth injury attorney if complications arise. The medical costs associated with treating a child with Diflucan birth injuries can be extremely high. A legal expert experienced in this area can help the family receive compensation if their child is harmed by this drug. These lawyers often offer free consultations that can help the victims decide how to file a lawsuit and gather all the information needed for a strong case.