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Clubfoot Birth Defect Linked to Maternal Use of SSRIs

Posted in Paxil Birth Defects, SSRI Birth Defects

Clubfoot is a congenital defect (present at birth) characterized by the malformation of the feet, and “is the most common congenital disorder of the legs.”[1]  MedlinePlus, a prominent online medical encyclopedia curated by the United States National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health, states that clubfoot “can range from mild and flexible to severe and rigid.”[2]

Normally, this condition affects about 1 in 1,000 children, and is more common in male children than in female children.  It can be bilateral (affecting both feet and legs) or unilateral, affecting only one foot or leg.  Signs of clubfoot are straightforward, “the foot turns inward and downward at birth,”[3] and sadly, the foot is “difficult to place in the correct position.  The calf muscle and foot may be slightly smaller than normal.”[4]

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Treatment for Clubfoot

MedlinePlus provides us with a thorough picture of a treatment plan for clubfoot in newborns: “Treatment may involve moving the foot into the correct position and using a cast to keep it there. This is often done by an orthopedic specialist. Treatment should be started as early as possible — ideally, shortly after birth — when it is easiest to reshape the foot.

Gentle stretching and recasting will be done every week to improve the position of the foot. Generally, five to 10 casts are needed. The final cast will stay in place for 3 weeks. After the foot is in the correct position, the child will wear a special brace nearly full time for 3 months. Then, the child will wear the brace at night and during naps for up to 3 years.

Often, the problem is a tightened Achilles tendon, and a simple procedure is needed to release it.

Some severe cases of clubfoot will need surgery if other treatments do not work, or if the problem returns. The child should be monitored by a health care provider until the foot is fully grown. See: Clubfoot repair[5]

 

Link between Clubfoot and Maternal SSRI Use

Recently, maternal use of a new type of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy have been linked to a variety of birth defects, including heart defects, neural tube defects, and clubfoot.  Specifically, maternal use of Paxil® during pregnancy has been found dramatically elevate the risk for having a child with clubfoot.  Here is one place where one can read more on the connection between SSRI use and clubfoot.

 

We Are Here To Help

Because the manufacturers of these SSRIs do not warn pregnant mothers about the elevated risk for birth defects posed to newborns, many Paxil® lawsuits are currently being filed for injuries including clubfoot and other birth defects.  If you used Paxil® during pregnancy and your child was born with clubfoot or another congenital malformation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Paxil® lawyers for a free, no-obligation case consultation at (855) 452-5529 or by e-mail at justinian@dangerousdrugs.us.

We have the experience, compassion, and resources to fight for and secure the justice your family deserves, even from the largest of pharmaceutical companies.  We are here to help.

Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.


[1] “Clubfoot: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. © 1997-2013 A.D.A.M., Inc. Available at <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001228.htm> Updated 24 January 2013, Accessed 4 February 2013

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.