Potential Compensation for Neocate Formula Babies Who Suffered Rickets, Hypophosphatemia, or Bone Damage
If your child took Neocate infant formula and suffered rickets, hypophosphatemia (low phosphate levels in the blood), or other unexplained bone damage, please call us at 1-866-900-7078 or click here to contact us. We may be able to help.
First off, our hearts go out to you if this is something you are potentially dealing with. We never want to see anyone injured by a defective product, but when children are the victims, it makes our stomachs turn. We’re not just lawyers investigating these potential claims; we’re also mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. This is an issue close to our hearts and if we can help in any way, please reach out.
Neocate Infant Formula Lawsuits
You may click on the links below to go to the section you’re looking for, but we suggest reading through this page from top to bottom to get the full picture of a potential Neocate lawsuit:
- What Is Neocate Baby Formula?
- Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Neocate Infant Formula Use
- Research Studies Found Neocate Can Cause Hypophosphatemic Rickets
- Neocate-Related Injuries Mistaken for Child Abuse
- Consult With a Neocate Lawyer for Free
What Is Neocate Baby Formula?
Neocate is a widely used baby formula released in 1995 by the European company Nutricia. Their European website claims that Neocate is “the No. 1 Amino Acid Formula in the UK,” and that it is “nutritionally complete, providing all the nutrients an infant requires for their development.” It is manufactured and distributed in the United States by Nutricia North America.
Neocate is often used to feed children with allergies to cow’s milk and soy milk, as well as children who have feeding difficulties related to gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and intestinal malabsorption.
Neocate is made available to low-income families through the Women, Infants and Children Nutrition Program (WIC), so families should be made aware of its potential side effects.
It is touted as a “hypoallergenic” product that contains proteins that are broken down into amino acids, which can help prevent allergic reactions that proteins in cow or soy milk are known to cause. In comparison to cow and soy milk, Neocate has proteins that have been broken down into smaller sizes that make absorption of nutrients easier, and helps prevent allergic reactions. The brand and its range of products are prolific in the baby formula market and can be purchased just about anywhere — your local grocery store, Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreen’s, Buy Buy Baby, Amazon, etc.
Neocate comes in different varieties (see Neocate products):
- Neocate Syneo Infant
- Neocate Infant DHA/
- Neocate Nutra
- Neocate LCP
- Neocate Splash
- Neocate Junior
The company sells a wide range of products for use from birth to 10 years of age, which means that a child could potentially consume Neocate for up to a decade of their young lives. What’s worrisome is that parents and guardians might not know to attribute certain medical conditions to Neocate’s potential side effects if they don’t know to look for it.
Symptoms and Conditions Associated with Neocate Infant Formula Use
Neocate is facing outrage from parents as recent studies have shown that some children who were exclusively fed Neocate for a prolonged period of time suffered the following diseases and symptoms:
- Hypophosphatemia – According to Healthline, hypophosphatemia is a condition in which there’s a low level of phosphate in the blood. Phosphates and calcium are electrolytes that help facilitate basic bodily functions and help build strong bones and teeth. Most of the phosphate and calcium in your body is stored in the bones. If a child’s phosphate levels are too low, they may develop things like:
- Muscle and bone weakness (increased susceptibility for bone breaks)
- Bone fractures
- Bone disease
- Bone pain
- Loss of appetite
- Stunted growth
- Delayed motor skills
- Rickets – As defined by the Mayo Clinic, rickets is “the softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin D deficiency.” Vitamin D is crucial in helping a child’s body absorb and metabolize phosphorus and calcium from food. Rickets can manifest in many ways, including the following signs:
- Bowed legs
- Bowed/knock knees
- Thickened wrists and ankles
- Breastbone projection
- Skull protrusions
- Skeletal abnormalities
Research Studies Found Neocate Can Cause Hypophosphatemic Rickets
Neocate has been around for decades, and study after study is demonstrating that the long-term use of Neocate formula can have adverse side effects.
1. This 2019 study, published in the journal Osteoporosis International, is the most recent study about Neocate’s side effects. The researchers studied two children who were feeding tube-dependent and exclusively fed Neocate and subsequently developed hypophosphatemic rickets.
In order to try to correct the condition, they were given phosphorus supplements and their formula was changed. These corrections actually caused the children to develop hypocalcemia, which is when calcium levels in the blood are too low. Calcium and phosphorus work together in the body and balance each other out. If one or the other is too low, or one is not balancing the other out, the human body suffers, especially the skeletal system.
Interestingly, the researchers found that merely supplementing phosphorus and calcium to the body to compensate for low levels of either may lead to overcompensation. They recommend that parents and doctors monitor the levels of both phosphorus and calcium in the child’s system if they take, or have taken Neocate, in order to help avoid unbalancing the system further.
2. This study, published in 2017, was a collaboration between doctors and researchers from leading hospitals and medical centers around the world. They studied 51 cases of children around the world with unexplained hypophosphatemia, and had solely been fed Neocate. They found that there was “adequate formula composition” in Neocate, but that the patients’ profiles “indicated a deficient dietary supply or severe malabsorption of phosphate.”
In essence, these children got the minerals they needed from the formula, but something about Neocate can cause malnutrition and weak bones by hindering the body’s absorption of necessary phosphate electrolytes. They found that with phosphate supplements and with a change to another formula, the children’s conditions eventually improved. The researchers brought up their finding to Nutricia:
“It appears from an increasing recognition of cases that the problem is not sporadic. After bringing this issue to the attention of the manufacturer, a statement was issued directed to prescribers of the formula recommending periodic monitoring of serum levels of micronutrients, including phosphate, in children with complex diseases.”
3. This study was presented at the 2017 International Conference on Children’s Bone Health. Researchers and doctors from all the United Kingdom studied seven cases where infants were exclusively fed Neocate and subsequently developed hypophosphatemic rickets. They found that the children’s phosphate levels normalized after 1 week to 4 months of gradual weaning off of Neocate.
The researchers concluded that Neocate can cause hypophosphatemia because of poor intestinal absorption of phosphate in those infants. They recommended parents and doctors closely monitor children’s bone health if the child is being exclusively fed Neocate.
These three studies strongly suggest a link between Neocate, low phosphorus levels in the blood, and rickets. In fact, Neocate’s UK website has a page dedicated for monitoring micronutrients (which you can see here), but their US website does not.
Neocate-Related Injuries Mistaken for Child Abuse
One of the terrifying results that can come from extended Neocate use is that children’s bones are weakened, making them more susceptible to injuries normal children would not have. Those injuries could cause authorities to suspect their parents of abuse, such as in this case study:
An innocent family member was a suspect of child abuse before finding out that Neocate can weaken children’s bones and cause them to break more easily. In this specific case, a 2-year-old girl had medical complications and had to be exclusively fed Neocate. The child suffered bone fractures that raised suspicion that child abuse was involved. Child Protective Services investigated the child’s environment and found no serious or immediate risk of harm. In the hospital, the child was found to have hypophosphatemic rickets “likely due to Neocate usage.” The researchers emphasized the importance of carefully monitoring minerals in children fed with products like Neocate.
In 2018, a Mississippi man was suspected of child abuse when his Neocate-fed son with cerebral palsy suffered fractures. Child Protective Services was investigating the man when the man’s daughter saw a commercial for Neocate-related lawsuits on TV. It was then that they realized they may have a potential lawsuit against Nutricia. Click here for their shocking story.
Our Neocate Lawyers May Be Able to Help – Get a Free Case Evaluation
We are investigating potential claims against Nutricia, the manufacturers of Neocate, for negligence. Why didn’t their scientists and researchers warn parents of the risks associated with the product? Did they really not know of its harmful side effects until unbiased researchers pointed them to their research findings? Why aren’t they doing more to help spread the word about their products’ dangers? If your child has suffered any of these conditions, we want to hear from you. Our NC product liability attorneys know how to fight against companies who market and sell dangerous products to the innocent public. We could potentially help you get compensation for things like current and future medical bills, lost earnings and future earnings for the child’s parents, pain and suffering, among others.
If you feed your child Neocate, we urge you to consult your family physician or pediatrician immediately. If your child has suffered unexplained bone fractures, hypophosphatemia, rickets, skeletal damage, or other related injuries, please call us at 1-866-900-7078 today or click here to contact us. Let us fight for you and your children.