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SSRIs and Birth Defects

Studies Link Birth Defects to Anti-Depressants and Anti-Anxiety Drugs

The New England Journal of Medicine in a paper titled, “Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors and Risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn,” noted that the use of SSRIs during pregnancy carries an increased risk of catastrophic birth defects such as Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn, other heart and congenital abnormalities.

What are SSRIs?

SSRIs are prescription medications that impact the neurotransmitter serotonin to affect the mood of patients. Some of the medications in this class include:

  • Zoloft (Sertraline)
  • Lexapro (Escitalopram)
  • Prozac and Sarafem (Fluoxetine)
  • Celexa (Citalopram)
  • Paxil (Paroxetine)
  • Effexor (Venlafaxine)
  • Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine)
What Types of Birth Defects Are Associated with these medications?
  1. The use of SSRIs during pregnancy is associated with a six times greater risk of PPHN.
  2. One medication is associated with three times risk of heart defect. Use of multiple SSRIs may increase the risk of defect by five.
  3. Newborn drug addiction and miscarriage is only increased with use of SSRIs during pregnancy.
  4. There is also evidence that an infant’s motor development can be delayed.
Your Options

If you took one these SSRI medications during pregnancy, and you suffered miscarriage or your child was born with a birth defect, you or your child may have a claim for your damages. Please feel free to contact me to speak with an experienced attorney who will speak with you personally and discuss your legal options.