The Food and Drug Administration has been asked by the National Association of Attorneys General to place black box warning labels on prescription pain relievers containing opioids stating that pregnant women may be harming infants. According to a letter sent to FDA Commissioner Marager Hamburg, the use of opioids has been increasing, which has triggered more cases of the condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). These can be dangerous drugs, even to those who are monitored by physicians.
NAS is a serious condition, and is basically withdrawal from opioids after birth. Symptoms include trouble sleeping, seizures, tremors, vomiting, weight loss, and more. Many cases of NAS have been found in Kentucky, where there has been a 2500 percent increase from 29 cases in 2001 to 730 cases in 2011.
There was an estimated $720 million spent to treat NAS in 2009, most of it coming from Medicaid.
The opioid category includes hydrocodone, codeine, and oxycodone, and is found in brand names like Percocet, OxyContin, and Vicodin. OxyContin already has a black box warning label, as well as some other opioids, but none specifically address NAS, according to Jack Conway, the attorney general of Kentucky and co-chair of the attorneys general substance abuse program.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous drug anywhere in Ohio, includind Dublin, Columbus, and New Albany, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack CO., L.P.A. to find out what your rights are during a free, no-obligation consultation.