Lexapro Can Cause Birth Defects

The risk of serious birth defects has been linked to antidepressants such as Lexapro when taken during pregnancy.

The FDA has declared that Lexapro and other SSRI antidepressants (Celexa, Pristiq, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor) are classified in Pregnancy Category C.  This means that reproduction studies using animals show an adverse effect on the fetus, yet there are not yet adequate studies in humans.  The Pregnancy Categories measure the teratogenic defects a drug has on a fetus.  Teratogenic means that a drug may cause interference with the development of the fetus.

Lexapro and Congenital Heart Birth Defects

A Public Health Advisory was issued by the FDA in 2005, warning that when certain antidepressants are used during the first trimester of pregnancy it can potentially increase the risk of heart birth defects.  According to several studies cited by the FDA, exposure to Lexapro and other SSRI antidepressants increases the risk of cardiac birth defects.  These studies focused mainly on atrial septal defects (ASD) and ventricular septal defects (VSD), which are both potentially life threatening conditions in which the wall between the left and right sides of the heart is not formed properly.


The FDA issued a Public Health Advisory on July 19, 2006, stating that Lexapro and other antidepressants pose a six times higher risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) when mothers took these antidepressants during pregnancy. PPHN is a life-threatening condition in which the arteries to an infant’s lungs do not open after delivery.  This limits the amount of blood oxygenation and may require surgery to remedy.

Contact a Lexapro Birth Defect Attorney

If your baby was born with PPHN or a congenital heart defect after you took Lexapro or another antidepressant during pregnancy, you may be eligible to file a dangerous drug lawsuit.  Contact a product liability attorney today for a free consultation and discussion of your legal options.

June 8, 2011 | Tags: Birth Defects, Celexa, Dangerous Drugs, Lexapro, Zoloft

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