SSRI Drugs Linked to Birth Defects

Antidepressants have become a troubling subject when it comes to birth defects.  Some mothers are unfortunately delivering children with birth defects connected to taking drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) during their pregnancy.  SSRI birth defects, including heart defects, spina bifida, club foot, and other serious birth defect injuries, are causing concern and leading to litigation filed against the makers of these dangerous drugs.

Complaints of SSRI birth defects have been identified since at least 2005 from women who took Paxil,Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, or Prozac while pregnant.  SSRI drugs are generally used as antidepressants.

A New England Journal of Medicine study found that women who took SSRIs during their first trimester of pregnancy were six times more likely to deliver babies born with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) than those who didn’t take SSRIs during their pregnancy.  PPHN is a lung disorder that restricts the arteries and causes blood pressure in the pulmonary artery of the heart to rise beyond control.  The following symptoms may indicate PPHN:

  • Heart Murmurs
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Bluish Skin
  • Low Blood Oxygen Levels
  • Difficulty Breathing

PPHN is a serious birth defect.  Even after treatment, the baby can be susceptible to heart failure, brain hemorrhage, seizures, kidney failure, or organ damage.  It can also sometimes be fatal.

Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro, Effexor, and Prozac are antidepressants that have fallen under close scrutiny for use by expectant mothers.  The FDA has classified these drugs as either Class C or D for the risks the present during pregnancy.  These SSRIs have been used for years to treat depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks, ADHD, and some eating disorders.

The attorneys at the Stenger Law Firm, LLC have extensive experience in representing clients that have suffered injuries from SSRIs including Paxil and Zoloft, including several with birth defect injuries.