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Diflucan® and Thin Ribs

The birth defect of having thin ribs, when it occurs in conjunction with a number of other specific birth defects, can be a sign of Antley-Bixler syndrome.

The syndrome is characterized by a short, broad head; abnormal looking face, including bulging eyes and cleft lip or palate; abnormal development of the skullcap, bowing of the thigh bones, muscle weakness and joint deformities; congenital heart disease, thin ribs and long bones.

When these malformations occur in a cluster, they may be a sign of Antley-Bixler syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) distributed a safety communication in August 2011 that high doses (400mg to 800mg) of the antifungal medication might cause this set of birth defects in infants born to mothers that took Diflucan® during the first trimester of their pregnancies.

Diflucan® and Antley-Bixler Syndrome

Diflucan® is an antifungal medication used to treat yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, throat, esophagus and other organs. It also is used to treat meningitis caused by a certain type of fungus. The drug is given to prevent yeast infections in patients who might be infected because they are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy and their immune systems are weakened.

In its communication, the FDA noted that:

  • High doses (400 mg to 800 mg) taken over a long term during the first three months of pregnancy might be associated with a set of rare and distinct birth defects
  • A single dose of Diflucan® (150 mg) during pregnancy does not seem to cause birth defects
  • Patients should notify their healthcare provider if they are pregnant or become pregnant while taking Diflucan®
  • Side effects from the use of Diflucan® should be reported to the FDA Medwatch program

FDA Data Summary Regarding Diflucan®

The FDA has come across five reports of the rare and distinct set of birth defects characterizing Antley-Bixler syndrome in the medical literature. Four women were reported to have used high (400 mg to 800 mg) doses of Diflucan® for fungal infections during the first trimester of their pregnancies. A fifth patient was an HIV-positive mother who received high dose oral Diflucan® for vaginal candidiasis (yeast infection).

If your baby is born with a birth defect and you used Diflucan® during your pregnancy, our birth defect lawyers may be able to help you seek compensation for your baby's suffering. To learn more, contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

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