Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawsuits

Children born with heart birth defects, lung birth defects and other congenital birth defects have been linked to the possible use of a group of antidepressant drugs classified as Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) by women during pregnancy. In a prominent study, infants exposed to SSRI antidepressants, like Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Lexapro, Pristiq and Prozac during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 60% higher probability of developing congenital heart defects compared to newborns whose mothers did not take SSRI antidepressants.

Mothers who have taken antidepressant drugs during pregnancy have reported the following birth defects:

  • Cardiac (heart) defects
  • PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn)
  • Neural tube defects (brain and spinal cord)
  • Craniosynostosis (skull defect)
  • Infant omphalocele (abdominal wall defects)
  • Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
  • Anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus)
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Limb defects

British Study Finds Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) Implicated in Cardiac Birth Defects

Taking antidepressants such as Zoloft, in the early stages of pregnancy may alter development of the fetus, a new study indicates. This study will be published September 25 in the online British Medical Journal.

Many woman take antidepressants during pregnancy with no effect, but Zoloft, among others, may double the risk of a heart defect if taken early in the pregnancy, finds this study out of Aarhus University, Denmark, which looked at nearly half a million children born there between 1996 and 2003.

For the purposes of this study, early pregnancy was defined as 28 days before conception to 112 days after conception. The heart defect was very specific. It is in a piece of tissue that separates areas of the heart.

Zoloft increased the risk, as did Prozac and Celexa. So did using more than one antidepressant at a time reports Reuters. Zoloft more than tripled the risk, while Celexa more than doubled the risk.

Translating that into births – for every 250 women who do not take antidepressants during pregnancy, expect one infant to be born with the defect. That number increases to two infants for every SSRI taken, and four infants for mothers taking more than one.

SSRIs or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors taken during pregnancy have also been connected with birth defects and heart defects in other studies.

If your baby has birth defects and you were taking antidepressant drugs during pregnancy you should contact us now. You may be entitled to compensation.