If you were taking an SSRI antidepressant such as Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zyban, Effexor or Luvox while pregnant and your child was born with a birth defect, the defective drug attorneys at Garrett Law Office would like to speak with you.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, have been linked to skeletal, neural tube, heart, and limb birth defects, as well as cleft lip and cleft palate. Studies have shown the danger of SSRI birth defects is higher if the antidepressants are used within the first three months of pregnancy.
If your child suffers from a birth defect that might be associated with an SSRI antidepressant like Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Zyban, Effexor or Luvox, you may be able to pursue compensation through an SSRI birth defect lawsuit.
The following is a list of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) that have been linked to birth and heart defects:
- Aropax (Generic: Paroxetine)
- Effexor (Generic: Venlafaxine)
- Fevarin (Generic: Fluvoxamine)
- Fontex (Generic: Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Generic: Escitalopram)
- Sepram (Generic: Citalopram)
- Wellbutrin (Generic: Bupropion)
- Zoloft (Generic: Sertroline)
SSRI Birth and Heart Defects
SSRI antidepressants work by boosting serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in the regulation of mood, sleep and appetite. The first SSRI antidepressant, Prozac, was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987.
In 1996, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that women taking Prozac during pregnancy were two times as likely to deliver a baby with three or more “minor abnormalities” and poorer than average neonatal adaptation.
In 2005, a Danish study showed that infants exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 60% higher probability of developing congenital heart defects when compared with infants whose mothers did not take the drugs.
Since SSRIs came on the market, the FDA has issued several warnings about the drugs and birth defects. In 2005, the agency warned that studies have shown that infants born to women who had first trimester Paxil exposure had an increased risk of heart birth defects, primarily ventricular and atrial septal defects (VSDs and ASDs).
In 2006, the FDA asked the manufacturers of several SSRI antidepressants to add information to their labels describing the potential risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) after a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found a six-fold increased risk of the disorder among infants born to mothers who took an antidepressant in the last trimester of pregnancy.
Other birth defects that might be associated with the use of SSRI antidepressants include:
- Anencephaly (open cranium with absence of a brain)
- Craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the skull bones)
- Hypospadias & Penoscrotal Hypospadias (opening of the urethra is on the underside rather than the end)
- Esophageal atresia (closed esophagus)
- Omphalocele (protrusion of part of the intestine through the abdominal wall)
- Dandy Walker malformation (a brain defect)
- Cloacal Exstrophy (involves multiple abnormalities of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary tracts)
- 3 different types of heart defects
- Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): (A group of disorders with similar autism features. Ex: “Classic” autism; Asperger Syndrome and Atypical Autism)
- Limb Reduction Deficit: (A birth defect in which all or some of the limbs of a fetus do not completely form while in utero)
- Congenital heart lesions & anomalies
- Down’s syndrome
- Undescended testes in males
- Spina bifida
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Ventricular Outflow Defects
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Neural tube defects (brain and spinal cord, spina bifida)
- Infant omphalocele (abdominal wall defects)
- Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
- Anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus)
- Septal defects; Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Limb Defects
Contact us today by filling out our contact form or by calling us toll-free at 1-888-GARRETT (1-888-427-7388) for a free legal consultation or to have your legal questions answered.
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