Prozac Birth Defects

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The antidepressant drug Prozac (Fluoxetine) has been linked to a number of side effects, most notably an increased risk of birth defects if taken during pregnancy. These birth defects can be severe and profoundly affect the life of the newborn infant. If you took the drug while pregnant and believe you have been affected by Prozac birth defects, you can join others in the fight for fair and just compensation.

When you bring your Prozac claim to Pierce Skrabanek, we will listen to your story get to know you on a personal basis. We have decades of experience dealing with defective drug lawsuits and will help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us at (832) 690-7000 for a free consultation to determine what your legal rights and options are.


What is Prozac?

Prozac (Fluoxetine) is in a class of pharmaceutical antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Prozac was first discovered in 1974 by Eli Lilly and Company and quickly became one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in December 1987. Prozac is used primarily to treat depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological conditions.

Prozac is frequently prescribed to pregnant women. While Prozac has been around for a while now, the medical community is just only now beginning to fully understand the risks involved with antidepressants and pregnancy. Other similar SSRI drugs include Lexapro, Celexa, and Zoloft.

Doctor examines infant with a stethoscope at a hospital.

Several studies have demonstrated a link between Prozac use during pregnancy and various birth defects. The main concern in terms of Prozac birth defects is a condition in the infant known as persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).

PPHN affects a newborn’s ability to breathe efficiently after birth, preventing oxygen from sufficiently reaching vital organs. This in turn can result in organ damage and failure, including brain damage and even death. Newborns with PPHN often require intensive care treatment and mechanical ventilators.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) originally released a warning about SSRI drugs and PPHN. It cited a 2006 study showing that there was a six-fold increase in the chance that an infant would suffer from PPHN if the mother took an SSRI during pregnancy.

The FDA released a revised warning, stating that the connection between SSRI drugs and PPHN was still under investigation. However, they did urge expectant women to take careful precautions and analyze Prozac and pregnancy risks.

Besides PPHN, Prozac birth defects can include: 

  • Heart and cardiovascular malfunctions
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Club foot
  • Neural tube defect spina bifida
  • Omphalocele (a birth defect where the infant’s organs protrude outside the abdominal wall through the belly button)

In addition, the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) released a study showing that women who took SSRIs during pregnancy had a significantly higher risk of preterm birth. Preterm birth is when the baby is born too early, which can further increase the risk of birth defects and complications.

Compensation for Prozac Birth Injuries

Birth-related injuries are distinct from many other types of injuries. This is because the injury is manifested right at the outset of the victim’s life, which can affect the entire way their life unfolds. They may face long-term conditions that require lifelong treatments.

These costs must be factored into the damages award in a Prozac or SSRI lawsuit, and may include:

  • Expenses from initial medical treatment or surgeries
  • Ongoing medical costs and maintenance (medications, etc.)
  • Long-term therapy or rehabilitation costs
  • Medical equipment and disability accommodations
  • Fees related to special educational needs
  • Pain and suffering

Each claim will be different, and damages may depend on the exact SSRI pregnancy injuries involved. Also, the amount of damages secured will depend on the skill and capabilities of the lawyer who handles the case.

It’s important to work with a lawyer who understands these types of injury cases and has the experience to present a strong case. At Pierce Skrabanek, we place top priority on ensuring that you and your family receive the highest award you are entitled to. Contact us at (832) 690-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Pregnant woman consulting with a doctor during a hospital visit

Why is Treatment for Depression During Pregnancy Important?

Depression in pregnancy is a condition that affects about 10% of women. Maternal depression has been associated with a number of birth issues, including low birth weight, preterm births, and postnatal complications.

Thus, it’s important for expecting mothers to weigh both the benefits and risks of taking SSRIs like Prozac while pregnant. On the one hand, failure to obtain treatment can lead to episodes of depression or withdrawal from SSRIs during pregnancy. On the other hand, there are major concerns regarding Prozac and birth defects.

The question “Does Prozac cause birth defects?” is especially important for pregnant women to understand. Pregnant women should consult closely with their doctors to determine what course of action to take during pregnancy. If a birth defect occurs after taking Prozac or other SSRI drugs, they should immediately consult with a lawyer to determine possible liability for the injuries.

Filing a Prozac Lawsuit

The lawyers at Pierce Skrabanek have extensive experience handling birth defect lawsuits. We understand that such injuries can be tragic, and will affect not only the infant, but their entire family as well.

Our attorneys have achieved outstanding results in representing clients against major corporations and manufacturers. For instance, we have previously worked on Paxil birth defect lawsuits against manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

If you and your infant are suffering due to a birth defect issue, it is important to contact a lawyer with the knowledge necessary to handle your lawsuit. We are currently accepting Prozac birth defect cases. Please contact us at (832) 690-7000 for a free case evaluation. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we don’t get paid until we win.


Prozac Birth Defect FAQs

You should contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible after you discover that your infant may have a birth defect caused by taking antidepressants during pregnancy. There are filing deadlines for all personal injury cases, and if you miss this window for filing, you could miss your chance to win compensation.

Certain birth defects may be detectable even during pregnancy. If this is the case, you should contact a lawyer immediately so they can begin investigating your claim and preparing for legal action.

Birth defect lawsuits can take several months to over a year to fully resolve. In cases where a drug like Prozac is involved, many consumers may be suffering the same legal issues. In such instances, a class action may be filed, which can further extend the legal process as more victims join the lawsuit.

Depression is a serious condition that can affect pregnant women and should be treated. SSRI antidepressants are associated with various risks and benefits that should be weighed carefully with a doctor before taking them during pregnancy.
There may be alternative depression drugs and treatment available to you during pregnancy besides Prozac or other SSRI drugs. You should also contact a lawyer if you suspect that you were wrongfully or negligently prescribed Prozac during pregnancy — you may have a claim for medical malpractice.

A Prozac birth defect lawyer can perform a number of tasks that will be greatly beneficial for your case. They will be able to:

  • Review the facts of your case and relevant laws
  • Gather and prepare evidence for trial
  • Formulate an effective legal strategy
  • Argue for the best compensation for you and your family

Prozac birth defect lawsuits can involve complex laws and will require the help of a lawyer. Contact Pierce Skrabanek at (832) 690-7000 to speak with an attorney regarding your claim. Getting started is the first step toward obtaining justice.


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-B. Carpenter


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