Antidepressants and Pregnancy Delivery Defects: Here is what you need to know

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Antidepressants are common treatment options for many types of depression. However, there are both benefits and risks you should consider if you opt to take antidepressants while expectant. Here is everything you need to know.

Recently, a couple of hundred Zoloft lawsuits were still pending before federal courts. Nearly all the plaintiffs in those cases argued that the company didn’t do enough to warn all the expectant women of the risks associated with Zoloft and the health risks the medication posed to an unborn child. These plaintiffs also believed that Pfizer actively promoted this drug to expectant mothers even when it knew Zoloft could cause congenital disabilities.

So, the question is, do antidepressants and other related medications result in birth defects? Is it safe to take these drugs during pregnancy? If you believe a specific antidepressant led to your child’s defects, what are your legal options?

The persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN)

In 2012, a study published in the famous British Medical Journal revealed the risks associated with various selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors especially during pregnancy. Note that some of the SSRIs included Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. The scientists argued that these medications doubled the risk the so-called persistent pulmonary hypertension in kids.

Note that this condition can cause brain damage, heart defects, lung damage, spinal cord damage, and other severe birth defects. The study also showed that two in every 1,000 infants suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborns at birth.

The research echoes warning findings by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States (2006) that revealed that SSRIs had the potential the heighten the risk of birth defects. Ever since FDA has restricted its warning as the organization believes that the research may be unclear particularly on the risk of using antidepressants when one is pregnant.

So, why don’t we have precise data on the impact of antidepressants on an unborn child? First, it will be too unethical to perform a drug study and testing on expectant mothers. That means scientists depend on animal studies and the after-the-fact information from the kids who have been already affected. Note that many drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription, spend a significant period in the market before they can be proved to be harmful to expectant women.

Seeking compensation after a birth injury

Christopher M. Placitella, a reputable birth injury lawyer, believes that whenever drug production companies offer enough warning regarding the dangers of using a specific antidepressant during pregnancy, it would be very challenging to hold them responsible for birth injuries and defects. Surprisingly, most of the plaintiffs in Zoloft litigation argued that the company didn’t offer warning regarding the specific risks the drug posed to their infants.

Just like the decision to take an antidepressant when pregnant, the choice to file a claim after a birth injury or defect caused by antidepressants majorly depends in the unique circumstances associated with a particular case. Therefore, you should consider working with an experienced attorney to take the right legal option.


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