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Diflucan® and Cleft Palate

When high doses of Diflucan® are taken during pregnancy, the developing baby may be at an increased risk of birth defects such as cleft palate. If your baby is born with cleft palate or another birth defect and you took Diflucan® during your pregnancy, you may be eligible to pursue compensation. To learn more, please contact us today.

The most common birth defects of the head and neck are cleft lip and cleft palate. The roof of the mouth or the palate is formed by a hard palate at the front of the mouth and a soft palate at the back. Cleft (split) palate is a birth defect that happens during the growth of the fetus when something interrupts the normal development of the palate.

During fetal development, what begins as a split between the right and left sides of the face, fails to come together and fuse. This can happen in either or both the soft and hard palates. Possibly running all the way from the front to the back of the mouth, a cleft palate can occur on one or both sides of the roof the mouth.

The birth defect can occur in the front of the palate, the back of the palate or both. It may be diagnosed by a doctor's physical examination soon after birth. Sometimes, if the defect is severe, or both the lip and the palate are cleft, a fetal ultrasound may detect them between the 14th and 16th week of the mother's pregnancy.

Risk Factors for Cleft Palate

Although it isn't clear why cleft palate and cleft lip occur, some factors predispose a baby to having a cleft palate. These include:

  • Genes carried by the mother or the father
  • Viruses
  • Drugs and certain medications
  • Other toxins

One drug linked to cleft palate is Diflucan®, an anti-fungal medication. When a mother takes Diflucan® during the first trimester of her pregnancy, she may be at an increased risk of having a baby born with a cleft lip or cleft palate.

Cleft Palate Treatment and Complications

The cleft palate is closed surgically, usually during the child's first year to enable normal speech development. Sometimes, in order to allow the baby to eat normally before surgery can be done, prosthesis is inserted temporarily.

Some complications may need to be addressed after the palate is repaired. These can include:

  • Dental problems (the child may need treatment by an orthodontist or a dentist)
  • Hearing problems (children with cleft lips or palates should have hearing tests early in their lives and then from time to time afterward)
  • A scar left by the surgery may need additional surgical treatment to minimize its appearance
  • Speech problems, caused by muscle abnormalities in the palate or the lip, may occur and the child can be helped by a speech therapist

Contact a Diflucan® Birth Defect Attorney

If you or a loved one took Diflucan® while pregnant and gave birth to a baby with cleft palate or another birth defect, you may be eligible to seek compensation. To find out if you qualify, please contact our birth defect attorneys today.

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