Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (“SSRIs”) are a class of antidepressants used to treat depression, panic disorders, anxiety disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and other psychological conditions. The efficacy of SSRIs for treatment of these disorders has come under question with some studies showing that SSRIs are no more as effective for treatment of depression or anxiety than no treatment. Recently, there have been increased concerns regarding SSRIs and birth defects in children whose mothers ingested SSRIs during pregnancy.
SSRIs that have been associated with birth defects include:
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
Studies Have Linked SSRIS/Antidepressants to Birth Defects
Common birth defects include atrial septal defect (“ASD”), ventricular septal defect (“VSD”), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (“HLHS”), tetralogy of fallot (“TOF”), transposition of the great arteries (“TGA”) and coarctation of the aorta. SSRIs are also associated with defects such as omphalocele, craniosynostosis, anal atresia, cleft lip and palate and clubfeet.
A study conducted in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found that SSRIs increased the risk of children developing omphalocele, a condition in which the child’s intestines protrude from the belly button, and septal defects, otherwise known as “holes in the heart.” Additionally, in 2006, the FDA issued a warning regarding the risk of persistent pulmonary FDA issued a warning regarding the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (“PPHN”) as a result of ingestion of SSRIs during pregnancy.
Pierce | Skrabanek has significant experience handling birth defect lawsuits. Most recently, we were involved in the Paxil litigation against GlaxoSmithKline. We have the knowledge to help you and your child obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free case evaluation from one of our lawyers, please contact us. We handle all cases on a contingency basis meaning that we don’t get paid unless we win.