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Antidepressant (SSRI) birth defects

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed for the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia. Recently, the use of SSRIs during pregnancy has been linked to babies born with birth defects that can be severe and even life-threatening.

What SSRI drugs are in question?

Due to the similar way SSRIs interact with our brains, the entire class of drugs has been linked to instances of birth defects. Specific products include:

  • Celexa® (citalopram)
  • Lexapro® (escitalopram)
  • Luvox® (fluvoxamine)
  • Paxil® (paroxetine)
  • Prozac® (fluoxetine)
  • Symbyax® (olanzapine/fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft® (sertraline)

What should I know about the link between these drugs and birth defects?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that one study showed infants born to mothers who took SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) than infants born to mothers who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.

What is persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)?

A mother who takes an SSRI drug may have a child born with this serious condition, which occurs when a newborn is unable to adapt to breathing outside the womb. This results in the child suffering from abnormal blood flow through the heart and lungs, leading to a lack of oxygen supplied to the rest of the body. Babies with PPHN can become very sick and may die.

What should I do if I took an SSRI and had a child with a birth defect or PPHN?

If you or someone you care about has suffered the anguish of having a child born with birth defects after taking prescription drugs, you may need a drug injury lawyer. Your initial consultation is free, and we will handle your inquiry with the utmost level of care and professionalism.

Celexa® and Lexapro® are registered trademarks of Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Luvox® is a registered trademark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals. Paxil® is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline. Prozac® and Symbyax® are registered trademarks of Eli Lilly and Company. Zoloft® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. All trademarks are used to identify the products in question.

This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with Forest Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Solvay Pharmaceuticals; GlaxoSmithKline; Eli Lilly and Company; Pfizer Inc.; or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Do not stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor's advice can result in injury or death. 

Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.

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