Posted In: Drug Litigation


SSRI Birth Defect Related Lawsuits

Recent studies have shown that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) are directly linked to birth defects. These defects include, but are not limited to Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), heart, lung, abdominal and cranial defects.

SSRIs include PaxilZoloftProzac, Celexa, Lexapro and Sarafem.

Common Birth Defects and Autism

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned patients that taking SSRIs during pregnancy has been directly linked to Congenital Heart Defects. These birth defects were 5 times more likely to occur in women who have taken it during pregnancy. The most common defects are Autism, Heart Defects, Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension and Abdominal & Cranial birth defects. The heart defects were, in most cases, Atrial and Ventricular Septal Defects, which are characterized by holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart. Heart-related birth defects range in severity from minor, which may resolve without treatment, to severe conditions, which usually require surgical repair.

Certain antidepressants, including PaxilZoloftProzac, Celexa and Lexapro have been linked to an increased risk of autism. A report published in Archives of General Psychiatry reveals new research that links the use of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) antidepressants during pregnancy with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in children.

In recent studies, researchers found a significantly higher risk of autism spectrum disorders associated with treatment with SSRI antidepressants by the mother during the year before delivery, with the strongest effect associated with treatment during the first trimester. The medical records came from the Childhood Autism Perinatal Study, which was conducted by Kaiser Permanente Medical Care in Northern California.

“Use of antidepressant medications during pregnancy also shows a secular increase in recent decades, prompting concerns that prenatal exposure may contribute to increased risk of ASD,” researchers concluded, adding that further studies will be needed to replicate and extend their findings.

Drug companies have often downplayed the risk to fetuses of the use of these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, recent studies have shown a significant increase in occurrence of serious birth defects as a result of using some of these drugs during the first trimester. If you were taking an SSRI before you found out you were pregnant, there is a possibility that your child’s birth defect was caused by the drug — even if you stopped taking it once you found out you were pregnant! Recent litigation has held these drug companies accountable for their failure to warn of these risks. If you or a loved one has taken an SSRI and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation.

Do I have a SSRI birth defect related Lawsuit?

Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the representation of plaintiffs in SSRI lawsuits. Our firm is handling litigation related to these injuries nationwide.

If you or someone you love has taken an SSRI while pregnant and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you should contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling (800) 251-6990.

Medical disclaimer: Please note that any change in medications should be made only after consulting with your doctor about the risks and benefits of doing so, and should not be based on any information contained in this web site or on a commercial.

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