Our firm is investigating potential lawsuits involving the use of macrolide antibiotics during pregnancy. Research suggests that antibiotics such as erythromycin and clarithromycin are associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy and epilepsy. The potential risks may prompt healthcare professionals to suggest an alternative for some pregnant patients.
If you or someone you know took macrolide antibiotics during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with cerebral palsy or epilepsy, we urge you to contact Parker Waichman LLP today.
Increased Risk of Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy with Erythromycin, Clarithromycin
On March 25, 2015 PLOS One published a study conducted by researchers from the UCL Institute of Child Health (ICH) in London. The study follows evidence of harm associated with prenatal antibiotics in a large trial of over 4,000 women in pre-term labor who took prophylactic antibiotics. The study authors gathered data using a cohort of 195,909 and looked at the relationship between antibiotic use and the risk of cerebral palsy or epilepsy. Researchers followed the children from birth until they were a median of 3.6 years of age.
While no link was seen with antibiotic use and cerebral palsy or epilepsy after accounting for confounding factors, the research revealed that macrolides were associated with a higher risk of cerebral palsy or epilepsy when compared to penicillins. In children whose mothers were prescribed macrolides, the incidence of cerebral palsy or epilepsy was 254.6 per 100,000 child-years-at-risk compared with 143.6 in children whose mothers were prescribed penicillin. The authors concluded that, “… our finding of an increased risk of cerebral palsy or epilepsy associated with macrolide prescribing in pregnancy adds to evidence that macrolide use is associated with serious harm.”
Ruth Gilbert, lead author of the study and professor of clinical epidemiology at ICH states that “There is now a large body of evidence of adverse effects of macrolides in different populations, during pregnancy and in adults…. There’s an accumulation of signals here that need to be looked at by a medicines regulator and by people who write the guidelines.”
Legal Advice for Individuals with Questions about Antibiotic Use during Pregnancy
If your child developed epilepsy or cerebral palsy after taking a macrolide antibiotic such as erythromycin and clarithromycin during pregnancy, you may have valuable legal rights. Contact one of our experienced drug injury attorneys today for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Simply fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).