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Diflucan® and Cleft Lip

It is believed that when high doses of Diflucan® are taken during pregnancy, the unborn child is at a greater risk of birth defects such as cleft lip. If your baby was born with cleft lip and you took Diflucan® during your pregnancy, our birth defect lawyers may be able to help you recover financial compensation. To schedule a free review of your case, please contact us today.

The birth defect cleft lip begins when the child is a fetus. A split, or cleft, occurs when the right and left sides of the upper lip, which are separated along a midline early in fetal development, fail to come together and fuse.

Cleft lip along with cleft palate are the most common birth defects of the head and neck. Cleft lip is the fourth most common birth defect in the U.S. and affects one in 700 infants born every year. Twice as many boys as girls have cleft lips.

A cleft lip can be a small, barely noticeable separation in the upper lip, or a split that is large and long and runs through the lip and the palate to the nose. The lip and the palate develop separately during the growth of the fetus, and so a baby may have only a cleft left lip or a cleft palate or both.

Most of the time, the cause of cleft lip is unknown and the condition is not preventable. There are, however, some factors that scientists believe lend themselves to cleft lips:

  • Genetics seem to play a role in the development of cleft lip; someone is more likely to have a cleft lip if a brother, sister, mother, father, or other relative has one
  • Toxins, such as chemicals in the environment while the fetus is developing, may lead to cleft lip
  • Viruses the fetus is exposed to may play a role
  • Some drugs have been linked to malformations in fetal development, including Accutane®, an acne medication, Methotrexate®, a drug that often is used to treat cancer, arthritis and psoriasis and Diflucan®, an antifungal medication.
  • Sometimes, cleft lip or cleft palate is one defect among a set of malformations that comprise a syndrome

Cleft Lip Treatment and Complications

A child born with cleft lip may need one or more surgeries, depending upon the extent of the malformation and the amount of surgical repair needed. The first surgery is usually done by the time the child is three months old. Follow-up surgeries may be needed to:

  • Improve the appearance of the lip and nose
  • Stitch together any gaps between the mouth and nose
  • Improve breathing

The child may also require the services of a dentist, orthodontist and prosthodontist. Sometimes a speech pathologist is part of the team that treats a child with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

Complications of cleft lip and/or cleft palate include:

  • Eating problems
  • Ear infections and loss of hearing
  • Problems with speech (sometimes surgery can correct these problems, but if they remain, a speech pathologist can work with the child to improve speech)
  • Dental problems occur more often in children with clefts (they tend to have more cavities and teeth that are missing, extra, abnormally formed, or in the wrong place)

Children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate often need the services of numerous health care professionals. These may include:

  • Plastic surgeon
  • Otolaryngologist
  • Oral surgeon
  • Orthodontist
  • Dentist
  • Prosthodontist
  • Speech pathologist
  • Speech therapist
  • Audiologist
  • Nurse coordinator
  • Social worker
  • Psychologist
  • Geneticist

Contact a Diflucan® Birth Defect Lawyer

If your baby is born with cleft lip or another malformation and you took Diflucan® while you were pregnant, you might be eligible for financial compensation. To find out if you qualify to pursue damages, please schedule a free consultation with a qualified Diflucan® birth defect lawyer today.

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