Pregnancy can be one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. It can also be one of the scariest. Your whole life is about to change! On top of that, your body already is changing, and your hormones can shift out of balance. Many women discover that what is supposed to be a happy time can also cause feelings of anxiety and depression. Desperate to feel better and to embrace the pregnancy, many women turn to their doctors for help.
Unfortunately, the help they may be given may cause even greater harm. Women who take popular anti-depressant drugs – SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, and Wellbutrin – during their pregnancy have an increased chance of giving birth to a baby with serious birth defects.
The class of drugs known as SSRIs is used to treat depression, anxiety disorders, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD), eating disorders, and other conditions. The drugs work by boosting serotonin levels in the brain, helping to regulate mood, sleep, and appetite.
The following SSRIs are popularly prescribed in the United States and have been shown to have a link to a higher incidence of birth defects in babies born to women who took them during pregnancy:
Numerous studies have shown a link between the use of SSRIs during pregnancy and a higher incidence of birth defects:
The FDA and other agencies have issued warnings prompted by the results of these studies, including:
There are many potential serious side effects that have been linked to taking SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, and Wellbutrin during pregnancy. The list of potential serious birth defects for newborns exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy include:
Many babies born to women who took antidepressants during pregnancy have also been shown to experience withdrawal symptoms upon birth, including tremors, convulsions, irritability, and sleep disturbances.
Antidepressant drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, and Wellbutrin have also been associated with a risk of infants being born prematurely or with low birth weight. Some studies also suggest a link to taking antidepressants and an increased risk of miscarriage.
Many medical professionals have suggested that the risks of birth defects related to taking antidepressants during pregnancy is low – one or few babies for every thousand or several thousand births (figures vary depending on the specific birth defect and drug in question). However, when the baby in question is yours, no amount of risk is so low to be considered negligible or acceptable. Imagine if your baby was the one – even in a million! – that developed a life-threatening health condition or serious physical defect because you took medication – on your doctor’s suggestion – that you thought would help you take better care of yourself
In addition to the heartache and suffering that these conditions can cause for both the babies and the parents, they can also require years of expensive medical treatments. Some babies born with heart defects may need numerous operations or even a heart transplant.
If you or someone you love took antidepressant drugs like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Effexor, Paxil, and Wellbutrin during pregnancy, or suffered birth defects as a result of being exposed to these drugs during pregnancy, you may be entitled to compensation. Attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin are ready to help. Call 1-866-900-7078 now to talk with a representative for a free evaluation of your case. One of our North Carolina antidepressant birth defects lawyers may be able to help you!