Antidepressants are one of the most prescribed drugs in the United States, with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) being the most common antidepressants prescribed. SSRI drugs include Zoloft® (sertraline), Paxil® (paroxetine), Lexapro® (escitalopram), Celexa® (citalopram), Prozac® and Sarafem® (fluoxetine).
Studies have shown that women who take SSRI antidepressants while pregnant, or who become pregnant while taking the drug, are at risk of having babies with SSRI related birth defects. Pharmaceutical companies may not have adequately warned of SSRI birth defect risks. Depending upon the trimester of SSRI exposure in the womb, babies can suffer:
- Congenital heart defects such as ventricular and atrial septal defects (VSDs and ASDs)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) in which the arteries of the lungs remain narrowed or constricted, inhibiting blood flow to the lungs and reducing the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream that can result in brain damage or death
- A condition called Omphalocele in which the baby is born with intestines or other organs outside the body
- Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects affecting the spinal cord
- Craniosynostos, a malformation of the head caused by premature fusing of cranial sutures of the skull
- Facial deformations such as Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
- Club foot, a deformation of the lower leg and foot
- Blockage of the anus called Anal Atresia
- Genital deformities
- Birth complications
- Infant death
Parents of children exposed to SSRI medications in the womb that have developed these conditions or complications should contact our attorneys for a free SSRI birth defects lawsuit consultation. They may be entitled to compensation for their child’s injury and suffering.