Lexapro (Escitalopram) is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Lundbeck and Forest Laboratories initiated the development of Lexapro in 1997. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in March 2001. Lexapro is currently classified as a Pregnancy Category C drug. There has been animal study evidence indicating that Lexapro may have an adverse effect on the fetus when ingested during pregnancy
Lexapro has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects including septal heart defects. A study published in 2010 in the Clinical Epidemiology Journal found that Lexapro could increase the risk of fetal malformations, particularly septal defects.
Additionally, the FDA issued a warning in 2006, for all SSRIs including Lexapro, regarding the association between persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (“PPHN”) and SSRIs.
Forest Laboratories has been plagued by controversy since its development of Lexapro. In 2004, Forest Laboratories was accused of illegally marketing Lexapro for use n children and teenagers. Forest Laboratories pled guilty to obstruction of justice and illegally promoting its drugs Lexapro and Celexa and paid $313 million including $164 million in criminal penalties.
Recently, Forest Laboratories also faced lawsuits stemming from a lack of warning regarding the association between Lexapro and suicidal ideation. The FDA forced Forest Laboratories to place a black box warning, the highest warning available, on Lexapro’s packaging.
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Pierce | Skrabanek has extensive experience handling birth defect lawsuits. Most recently, we worked on Paxil birth defect lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline. It is important to contact a lawyer with the knowledge necessary to handle your birth defect lawsuit. We are currently accepting Lexapro birth defect cases. Please contact us for a free case evaluation.