It’s long been known that women who take antidepressants during pregnancy face a higher risk of miscarriage, pre-term births, neonatal health problems and long-term neurobehavioral abnormalities such as autism. However, the connection has become a growing concern and is now being addressed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
What Is Known
What is known about women who take SSRIs —selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, such as Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro and Zoloft — while pregnant is that there is an increased risk that their child may suffer from birth defects such as:
- Asthma/Breathing Issues
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Club Foot
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome
- Limb Reduction
- Lung Defects
- Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
- Ventrical Septal Defect (VSD).
What Isn’t Known
There’s a great deal of information that still isn’t known about the dangers of women taking SSRI drugs during pregnancy. In fact, according to the Huffington Post, information from the University of California, San Diego, recently suggested that some newborns may go through withdrawal symptoms ranging from jitteriness to seizures. There may be a great deal to learn about these connections and others; however, drug company research in this area has been limited.
The CDC has implemented a program called “Treating for Two,” which will explore how to get better information to pregnant women about these issues; and the FDA is planning to revamp prescription drug label requirements to make sure that women understand the potential risks of taking SSRI drugs while pregnant.
SSRI Birth Defect Lawsuits
Thousands of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed against manufacturers such as GlaxoSmithKline (which manufactures Paxil), Eli Lilly & Co. (which manufactures Prozac), Teva Pharmaceuticals (which manufactures Celexa), Forest Pharmaceuticals (which manufactures Lexapro and Pfizer (which manufactures Zoloft) alleging serious birth injuries resulted from SSRI medications taken by mothers while pregnant.
If your child was born with a birth defect and you took one of these drugs, contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, to discuss your situation and determine whether your family may be entitled to compensation to provide for long term care of your child’s injuries.