Effexor, Zoloft, Prozac and other SSRI Antidepressants Linked to Autism
SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa, have been linked to birth defects in children whose mother’s took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy since scientific information began emerging in September 2005. Birth defects are not the only complications associated with these drugs, however. These antidepressants have recently also been identified as causing autism and other autistic spectrum disorders (ASD), which are developmental disabilities that can cause substantial behavioral, communication, and social challenges.
At the law firm of Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc., our SSRI autism attorneys understand the difficulties that families whose children have been diagnosed with an ASD have to face. If you or a loved one took an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy and gave birth to a child who was diagnosed with autism or another ASD, you may have a legal claim against the drug manufacturer. Our firm has obtained dozens of multi-million dollar verdicts for victims of pharmaceutical injuries in individual, class action, and mass tort litigations against major drug companies. We are committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to every client and can help you understand your legal rights. To discuss your potential case, contact us for a free case evaluation.
2011 Study Reveals Link between SSRIs and Autism
A study in the July 2011 Archives of General Psychiatry concluded that women who had taken SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy were two times more likely to give birth to a child with ASD than mothers who did not. Furthermore, this risk of autism almost quadrupled when the unborn child was exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester. The study also found that depression itself, when not being treated with SSRIs, was not a contributing factor and did not increase the risk of autism. The scientists who conducted this study have advised patients and doctors to carefully weigh the benefits and risks of taking SSRI antidepressants before taking or prescribing these drugs.
How do SSRIs Cause ASD?
Serotonin is a crucial neurotransmitter and plays a very important role in human brain development. It is involved in cell division, differentiation, migration, and synaptogenesis and is essential for the proper forming and functioning of the brain. Serotonin is also found within other organ systems and is necessary for adult brain processes such as mood, cognition, anxiety, and aggression. SSRIs block the reuptake of serotonin into neurons. While this may be the goal for treating adult depression and anxiety disorders, it is the opposite of what should occur in a developing embryo. SSRIs taken by pregnant women can affect their unborn babies by blocking the necessary reuptake of serotonin. Insufficient serotonin levels may jeopardize the proper development of the fetal brain and lead to autism or other ASDs.
How We Can Help
Our attorneys at RCRSD have built a national reputation on providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation. Our firm works with the legal team at Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman to help SSRI victims and their families pursue justice. We have decades of experience in pharmaceutical product liability and can build an effective case against the manufacturers of unsafe medications. To speak to an attorney about your potential case, call us for a free case evaluation at (888) 701-1288.