SSRI Birth Defect Attorneys
SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, are a widely prescribed class of drugs often used to treat anxiety disorders and depression. Since September 2005, however, scientific evidence has revealed that SSRI antidepressants, such as Zoloft® (sertraline), Prozac® (fluoxetine), and Lexapro® (escitalopram), may cause birth defects in children whose mothers took these or other SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy. The same has been shown for SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants like Effexor (venlafaxine). If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with birth defects caused by taking SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy, you may have cause for legal action against the pharmaceutical company that manufactured the drug.
Birth Defects Caused by SSRIs
Several birth defects have been associated with the use of SSRIs during pregnancy. These include:
- Cleft lip and/or palette
- Anal atresia (partial or complete closure of the anus)
- Club foot and other limb abnormalities
- Omphalocele (abdominal wall defect)
- Cardiac (heart) defects
- Spina bifida (incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube)
- Craniosynostosis (abnormal skull growth)
Furthermore, on July 19, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Public Health Advisory about the increased risk of Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) to babies whose mothers took SSRI antidepressants while pregnant. This life-threatening lung condition prevents sufficient oxygen from entering the child’s bloodstream. SSRI antidepressants included in the July 2006 alert included Prozac, Lexapro and Zoloft.
If you or a loved one was taking a SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy and has given birth to a baby with any of the above defects or PPHN, our attorneys can help you determine the best course of action under your particular circumstances.
Pursuing Justice on Your Behalf
At Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. (RCRSD), our SSRI birth defect attorneys understand the life-altering consequences of a birth defect and are committed to holding pharmaceutical manufacturers responsible for the distribution of unsafe drugs. We have decades of experience in pharmaceutical litigation and have obtained dozens of multi-million dollar verdicts for our clients. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today for a free case evaluation at (888) 701-1288.
FDA Issues Public Health Advisory Concerning Heart Defects
On December 8, 2005, the FDA released a Public Health Advisory based on studies conducted in the United States and Sweden, which showed that exposure to certain antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy could increase the risk of developing heart defects. The majority of cardiac defects observed were ventricular or atrial septal defects, where the wall between the left and right sides of the heart do not completely develop. Other types of heart defects that may develop due to antidepressant exposure include:
- Aortic stenosis
- Pulmonary stenosis and atresia
- Tricuspid atresia
- Hypoplastic left heart
- Conotruncal defects
Classification of SSRI Antidepressants
All antidepressants, except one, are classified as Category C medications under the FDA pregnancy categories. This means that animal reproduction studies have shown an increased risk of adverse events on the animal fetus, and that the drug should only be used if the possible benefits outweigh the possible risks. At RCRSD, we don’t agree with this classification and believe these antidepressants should be categorized as D medications, which have positive evidence of risk studies in humans.
Dedicated Legal Representation
Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc. has worked with the law firm of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman for years on behalf of those seeking justice for injuries caused by SSRI antidepressants, successfully handling more than 3,000 cases in the last 20 years. With decades of experience in pharmaceutical litigation, we have the knowledge and resources to effectively pursue justice for our clients. If your family has suffered as the result of birth defects caused by SSRI antidepressants, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation.