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Study Shows Danger of SSRIs When Used During Pregnancy

Posted in Misc. Drugs, Paxil Birth Defects, Prozac Birth Defects, Zoloft Birth Defects

A recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry set out to determine whether it was worse for a developing fetus to be exposed to antidepressant drugs during gestation or to be carried to term by a mother-to-be who suffered from depression during pregnancy.  This study, published by Dr. Tim F. Oberlander et al. was titled “Neonatal Outcomes After Prenatal Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Antidepressants and Maternal Depression Using Population-Based Linked Health Data,” and as the title suggests, focused on the effects of a new type of antidepressant drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Prozac®, Zoloft®, Paxil®, Celexa®, and others.

Data for the Oberlander study was collected using three groups from the population of British Colombia, Canada: infants born to depressed mothers who used SSRIs during pregnancy, infants born to depressed mothers who did not use SSRIs, and a control group made up of infants born to mothers who did not suffer from depression (and also did not use SSRIs).  In all, participants totaled over 100,000 infant-mother pairs.[1]

Results showed that maternal depression alone contributes to low birth weight, but that use of SSRIs exacerbated that risk.  Furthermore, it was demonstrated that exposure to SSRIs during gestation fostered an increased risk of neonatal respiratory distress (13.9% vs 7.8%), jaundice (9.4% vs 7.5%), and feeding problems (3.9% vs 2.4%)[2] when compared with babies born to depressed mothers who did not use antidepressant medications.

Because common SSRI warning labels, such as those for Zoloft® or Paxil®, include no information regarding these risks posed the developing fetus, an increasing number of Zoloft® lawsuits and Paxil® lawsuits are currently being filed.  If you used Zoloft® or Paxil® during pregnancy and your child was born with these or other birth defects, including a variety of heart malformation defects such as septal defects or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, please do not hesitate to contact our law firm for a free consultation at (855) 452-5529 or contact me personally by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.  We have the experience and resources required to go up against even the largest of pharmaceutical manufacturers and win the compensation you and your family deserve.


[1] Oberlander, T.F., et al. (2006) “Neonatal Outcomes After Prenatal Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Antidepressants and Maternal Depression Using Population-Based Linked Health Data” Arch Gen Psychiatry Vol. 63; pp. 898-906

[2] Ibid.