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Arizona Zofran Cleft Lip Lawsuit

Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that may occur during fetal formation in the womb. A baby can have either or both of these orofacial clefts. These defects occur in the early stages of pregnancy and can be a caused by Zofran, that was once prescribed to pregnant woman. Now, with continuous new information being released, it is important to consider an Arizona Zofran cleft lip lawsuit if your newborn has suffered from this birth injury.

A baby’s lips form in the very early stages of pregnancy, between the fourth and seventh weeks. During formation, tissue and cells conjoin in the center of the head to form the facial features, including the lips. When the lips do not completely join, this is called a cleft lip. This phenomenon results in an opening in the upper lip. Severity ranges from a small slit to a large opening that transcends through the lip and into the nose.

A cleft lip can occur on either one or both sides of the lip, or more rarely, in the middle of the lip. When a cleft is only present on one side of the lip, it is called a unilateral cleft. When it occurs on both sides, it is called a bilateral cleft. The separation may also include separation of the upper jaw and gum, which can range from a small slit to a complete division into separate sections. 

Occurrence and Causes

The CDC estimates that over 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip each year in the United States. Cleft lips that occur without any other birth defects, also known as isolated orofacial defects, are one of the most common birth defects in America. Though exact causes are unknown, the CDC believes these defects are caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. In addition to genetic mutations, other risk factors may include what the mother consumes during pregnancy. Additionally, the CDC has reported an increase in occurrence of defects based on the following factors:

  • There is an increased risk of defects if the mother smokes during pregnancy.
  • Women diagnosed with diabetes are more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects.
  • Certain medications have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects, especially medications taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. 


Treatment for a cleft lip varies based on age, severity of the cleft, specific needs, and other defects which may be present. Usually, treatment in Arizona will involve a combination of surgeries, specialty services, and ongoing treatment plans. Surgery for a cleft lip is usually recommended before the first year of the child’s life. Surgery can drastically improve the appearance of the child’s face and may recover breathing, hearing, and speech capabilities.

Surgeries and treatments may carry on into adolescence and adulthood. Other options in Arizona may include specialist visits with orthodontists and speech therapists. Because the nature of treatment is inter-disciplinary, organizations that offer ongoing treatment coordination and referrals are available. With treatment, most children who suffer from a cleft lip will grow up to lead a healthy, happy life.

A Special Note on Zofran

Zofran, an antiemetic drug that was commonly prescribed to pregnant women in their first trimester, has been linked to causing orofacial defects and other birth defects. If you took this drug during the early stages of your pregnancy and suffered from side effects or gave birth to a child with a cleft lip, you should consider a Zofran cleft lip lawsuit. Contact the law offices of Knapp & Roberts for a free consultation with a Zofran birth defect lawyer and you may be entitled to compensation from the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Our attorneys have over 20 years of experience, and we specialize in a variety of personal injury cases, including dangerous drug cases. We have the expertise and resources to successfully bring these cases before large-scale pharmaceutical companies, and we work tirelessly to get you the compensation you deserve.

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If you or someone you know took Zofran while pregnant and their child suffered a birth defect, contact a zofran birth defects lawyer at Knapp & Roberts immediately for a free initial consultation. They work with clients who are faced with the devastating effects of personal injuries nationally.