SSRI Antidepressants can Cause Birth Defects

A study in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that newborns born to mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy face a risk of Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) that is six times greater than the risk to babies whose mothers did not take SSRIs while expecting.

SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) antidepressants are a class of drugs that affect the chemical level of serotonin. Included in the SSRI class are Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, Lexapro and other highly prescribed antidepressants. In recent FDA studies, SSRIs have been linked to cardiac pharmaceutical birth defects in children whose mothers took these dangerous drugs during pregnancy.

PPHN is a potentially fatal birth defect that causes the arteries in the lungs to be severely restricted in affected infants. This restriction leads to high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery, causing restricted blood flow and low levels of oxygen in the blood. Even when treated, PPHN may result in shock, heart failure, brain hemorrhage, organ damage, kidney failure and seizures.

In addition to PPHN, a Pediatrics study conducted in 2004 showed that babies born to mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy had an increased risk of abnormal heart rhythms, disrupted neurological development, unusual sleep patterns and alertness problems. A similar study found that mothers who took SSRIs during pregnancy had an increased risk of giving birth to babies who had sleep disturbances, tremors, seizures and gastrointestinal problems.

The long term effects of SSRIs on fetal development are still unknown.

Contact an Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawyer

If you took an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with PPHN or another birth defect, dangerous drugs may have been the cause. By filing a dangerous medications lawsuit, you may be entitled to significant compensation. For more information and a free review of your claim, contact an antidepressant birth defect personal injury lawyer today.

April 22, 2011 | Tags: Birth Defects, Celexa, Dangerous Drugs, Lexapro, Paxil, Zoloft

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