Antidepressant PPHN Birth Defect Lawyers

A New England Journal of Medicine study, among others, connects antidepressant drugs to an increased risk of severe birth defects such as PPHN when taken during pregnancy.  PPHN is a serious and sometimes fatal congenital birth defect that may be caused by antidepressants taken during pregnancy.

Our birth defect lawyers have dedicated years to the defense of families affected by birth defects caused by dangerous drugs.  In many cases, these families were not adequately warned of the congenital birth defect risks associated with SSRI antidepressants when taken during pregnancy.  If you have a child who was born with PPHN birth defect after his mother used antidepressants during pregnancy, you may be entitled to substantial compensation in a birth defect lawsuit.

Call us at 1-888-554-2889 to speak to a birth defect lawyer personally. We offer:

  • A free, no-obligation case evaluation with a birth defect attorney
  • No fee unless we win your case
  • Flexible appointments
  • Home and hospital visits

SSRI Antidepressants and PPHN

The New England Journal of Medicine study concluded that infants born to mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy face a six times greater risk of developing the sometimes fatal birth defect known as PPHN.  Common SSRI antidepressants that may cause PPHN and other congenital birth defects include:

  • Celexa (citalopram) manufactured by Forest Labs
  • Prozac (fluoxetine) manufactured by Eli Lilly
  • Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) manufactured by Pfizer
  • Lexapro (escitalopram) manufactured by Forest Labs

The majority of antidepressant-caused birth defects are formed during the first trimester of pregnancy, when many women may not even know they are pregnant.  For this reason, the FDA urges doctors to pursue safer alternatives to SSRI antidepressants when prescribing this type of medication to women of childbearing age.

What is PPHN?

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN) is a very serious respiratory birth defect that is apparent shortly after birth.  In the womb, babies get all of their nutrition and oxygen through the umbilical cord.  In healthy babies, when the umbilical cord is cut the lungs begin to provide the oxygen-rich blood needed to maintain life.  When a baby has PPHN, the blood vessels leading to the lungs do not properly expand.  This causes insufficient blood flow to the lungs, and may lead to potentially life threatening problems.  PPHN symptoms include:

  • Bluish color to the skin
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Severe respiratory distress

To treat PPHN, the affected baby is connected to a ventilator that provides 100% oxygen to that baby.  This often helps the arteries leading to the lungs to open properly.  However, in extreme PPHN cases, the baby’s blood may be fed through a machine that ads oxygen and removes carbon dioxide.  Even when treated, PPHN may result in serious consequences such as:

  • Shock
  • Heart failure
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Organ damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Seizures
  • Death

Other Antidepressant Birth Defects

In addition to PPHN, babies born to mothers who used antidepressants during pregnancy face an elevated risk of heart arrhythmia, impaired neurological development, alertness problems, and disrupted sleep patterns.  A study similar to the one published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that babies born to mothers who took antidepressants are more likely to face sleep disturbances, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, and tremors.

Contact a Birth Defect Lawyer

The pharmaceutical birth defect lawyers at our firm have dedicated years to the pursuit of justice on behalf of families affected by birth defects caused by dangerous medications.  In many cases, it can be proved that pharmaceutical companies were to some extent aware of the risk antidepressants taken during pregnancy may pose to developing babies, yet they failed to adequately warn the public of these dangers.  If your child was born with a PPHN congenital birth defect after his mother took antidepressants during pregnancy, you may be entitled to compensation in a dangerous drug lawsuit.  Contact an experienced medical product liability attorney today for a review of your claim at no cost to you.

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