SSRI Birth Defects and Antidepressants

A group of popular antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been linked to an increase in the risk of serious birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Among these SSRIs are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the U.S.:

  • Zoloft® (sertraline)
  • Paxil® (paroxetine)
  • Prozac® (fluoxetine)
  • Celexa® (citalopram)
  • Lexapro® (escitalopram)
  • Effexor® (venlafaxine)

Millions of women have been prescribed an SSRI antidepressant over the years, but as more birth defects are reported, women are cautioned to talk to their doctors if they become pregnant or are planning a pregnancy while taking an antidepressant.

Types of Birth Defects Linked to SSRIs
Several birth defects, ranging from minor to severe, have been associated with taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy. The following are some of the congenital defects that have been reported by women who took an antidepressant during their pregnancies:

  • Spina bifida, a neural tube defect that can lead to complications such as paralysis, seizures and neurological impairments
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a lung condition in which the infant might experience difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, respiratory distress and cyanosis
  • Heart defects, including atrial septal defects, coarctation of the aorta, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, heart valve defects, pulmonary atresia, pulmonary stenosis, transposition of the great arteries and tetralogy of fallot
  • Craniosynostosis, a head and skull defect that affects the sutures of the head and can lead to complications such as pressure on the brain, seizures, a misshaped head and developmental delays
  • Omphalocele, an abdominal wall malformation in which the intestine and/or abdominal organs protrude through the baby’s belly button, which can lead to infection, problems feeding and respiratory problems
  • Limb malformations, including club foot

Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawsuits
If you took an SSRI during your pregnancy and your baby is born with a congenital abnormality, you might be eligible for financial compensation. To find out if you qualify for compensation, please contact a birth defect lawyer today. We may be able to help you seek compensation for the pain and suffering you and your child have endured and continue to face.

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