SSRI Antidepressants & Birth Defects

Prozac® and Pregnancy

If you, or someone you love, took Prozac during pregnancy, and gave birth to a child with a serious birth defect, you may be entitled to claim money damages. Prozac (generic: fluoxetine) belongs to a family of antidepressant medicines called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Manufactured by Eli Lilly, Prozac is used to treat a broad range of psychological conditions and personality disorders including Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorder and Bulimia among others.

Despite its obvious benefits, new medical studies may indicate that exposure to Prozac or fluoxetine during pregnancy may increase a mother’s risk of giving birth to a child with a serious birth defect.

Prozac Linked to 4x 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 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 Prozac Linked To 6x Increase In Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Newborn (PPHN)

PPHN is a potentially life-threatening cardiopulmonary 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 Prozac  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 Prozac after the 20th week of pregnancy, may be six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN.

FDA Warnings

Currently, the Prozac 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 Prozac or fluoxetine have not sought to change the warning to Pregnancy Category D.

FDA information on Lexapro

As one of the country’s leading prescription drug litigation law firms, Burg Simpson’s birth defect attorneys are committed to providing legal help to families and children harmed by antidepressants like Prozac.

If you, or someone you know, was prescribed Prozac and/or fluoxetine and gave birth to a child with a serious birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation. You should contact an experienced dangerous drug lawyer 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.

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