SSRI Antidepressants & Birth Defects

Celexa® and Pregnancy

If you, or someone you love, took Celexa® during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect or suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to claim money damages. Celexa® (generic:citalopram), is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) manufactured by Forest Labs.

Celexa®  is a popular antidepressant medication. Despite the obvious benefits of Celexa® , new medical evidence published by Danish researchers, suggests that exposure to Celexa® or citalopram during pregnancy may put mothers at an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with a life-changing birth defect.

Birth Defects Linked To Celexa®

Mothers who took Celexa® during pregnancy may be at a 2.5 times greater risk of giving birth to a child with septal heart defects and 6 times greater risk of giving birth to a child with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Newborn (PPHN).

Celexa® Linked to 2.5x Increase in Cardiovascular Heart Defects

Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD) are commonly known as holes in the chambers of the heart. They are among the most common congenital heart defects. The atrial septum is the wall between the left and right atria or upper chambers of the heart.

There is a natural opening before birth that usually closes on its own shortly after birth. When this “flap” fails to close, the child has an ASD. The ventricular septum is the wall between the left and right ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart.

A hole in the ventricular septum is called a VSD. Most infants born with a septal heart defect require surgery and extensive medication. Frequently, specialist pediatric cardiological care is required, then later life-long care by an adult congenital cardiologist.

SSRIs Similar to Celexa® Linked to 6x Increase in Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Newborn (PPHN)

PPHN is a potentially life-threatening pulmonary respiratory disorder that can develop quickly in newborns. PPHN impairs a baby’s body from supplying oxygen to bloodstream. It is thought that SSRI drugs like Celexa®   may cause the pressure in the blood vessels leading to a baby’s lungs to increase to the point where the baby’s blood continues to bypass the lungs even after birth.

According to research published in the New England Medical Journal, women who took antidepressants like Celexa® after the 20th week of pregnancy, may be six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN.

Read the study published in the New England Medical Journal

FDA Warnings

Currently, the Celexa® label contains a Pregnancy Category C warning, which indicates that the “potential benefits may warrant use of the drug in pregnant women despite potential risks to the unborn child.” Other drugs such as Paxil® (Paroxetine) contain a Category D Warning, informing medical providers and patients that scientific studies have shown a risk to the fetus when taken during pregnancy. Despite the scientific studies referenced above, the manufacturers of Celexa® or citalopram have not sought to change the warning to Pregnancy Category D.

Read FDA warnings regarding Celexa®

As one of the country’s leading prescription drug litigation law firms, Burg Simpson’s drug recall attorneys are committed to providing legal help to families and children harmed by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants like Celexa® .

If you took Celexa® or citalopram while pregnant, and your child is showing signs of a birth defect, it is important that you contact an experienced dangerous drug attorney as soon as possible. If you wait, evidence that could help establish your case may be lost, damaged, or even destroyed. In addition, statutes of limitations put strict time limits in place by which lawsuits must be filed. These time limits vary depending on the state in which you live.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation review of your case.


Celexa® is a registered trademark of Forest Labs.

Paxil® is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline.

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