SSRI antidepressants taken while pregnant have been linked to birth defects such as congenital heart defects and pulmonary hypertension in the newborn. According to one study, newborns with mothers who took SSRIs during their last trimester have a 60% higher chance of developing congenital heart defects than those with mothers who did not take the antidepressants. SSRI birth defect lawsuits can help families with children that have suffered any type of birth defect related to antidepressants taken while pregnant to receive compensation.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil help regulate the chemicals in the brain that becomes unbalanced. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most commonly prescribed antidepressants that help ease moderate to severe depression with relatively few side effects; however, fetuses that have been exposed are more than twice more likely to be at risk than those who were not. SSRIs include Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, and Cymbalta and now have medical experts concerned that expecting mothers should not be prescribed these medications.
A study on SSRIs such as Prozac has shown that the antidepressant can cause harm if taken within the first 30 days of conception. The risk of women giving birth to babies with congenital defects increased for women who took the drugs filled in 30 days before conception and during the first trimester than for those who did not take any SSRIs in the same period. Some of these congenital heart defects that newborns may be at risk for include:
• Pulmonary Atresia
• Tricuspic Atresia
• Double Outlet Right Ventricle
• Double Inlet Left Ventricle
• Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
• Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
• Transposition of the Great Vessels or Arteries
• Tetralogy of Fallot
• Truncus Arteriosus
• Ventricular Septal Defect (hole in the heart)
Congenital birth defects may include:
• Gastrochesis (malformation in the abdominal wall)
• Clubfoot (malformation in the limb)
• Craniosynostosis (cranio-facial malformation)
• Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension
Surgery may be necessary for infants at a very young age for many of these defects and may require additional surgeries as they grow into adulthood. If diagnosed and treated early on, these children may have the chance to lead healthy, productive lives. SSRI birth defect lawsuits can help these young children get the compensation they need to help them seek the medical attention they deserve.