Recent studies suggest selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), a class antidepressants may be linked to birth defects in children of pregnant women who used SSRI’s. Antidepressant use during pregnancy has been linked to cardiac defects (heart), PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn), Craniosynostosis (skull defect), as well as Cleft lip and Cleft Palate. A recent study also found that mothers of autistic children were twice as likely to have used SSRI antidepressants during the year proceeding their child’s birth.
Most SSRI antidepressants are currently classified as Pregnancy Category C by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This classification means SSRI drugs can potentially cause harm to a developing fetus if used during pregnancy. When a medication receives Pregnancy Category D classification by the FDA, that classification is based on adverse reaction data from investigational or marketing experience which shows positive evidence of human fetal risk. With reports and studies linking SSRI antidepressants use in pregnant women to birth defects in their unborn children, the FDA is investigating whether to change SSRI antidepressants from Pregnancy Category C to a Pregnancy Category D.
A recent study revealed that Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa increased the risks of birth defects, as did taking more than one antidepressant at a time. Reuters reports Zoloft more than tripled the risk of birth defects and Celexa use more than doubled the risk.
A list of the most commonly prescribed SSRI’s and their generic equivalents are
Prozac, Serafem (fluoxetine)
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If you were using any SSRI antidepressants while you were pregnant and your child suffers from congenital heart defects, skull or facial malformations including cleft lip or cleft palate or other birth defects, including Autism, you should contact my office for a no obligation, confidential case evaluation. The diagnosis of certain birth defects of a positive link between SSRI use and birth defects in medical records can limit your right to seek compensation on behalf of your child.
These injuries often require a lifetime of medical care and multiple surgeries. Contact my office immediately to determine what legal options may be available to assure your child receives the medical care they need.