Women with pre-existing psychiatric illnesses are considered have an increased risk for depressive episodes during pregnancy. Due to this elevated risk, many times it is necessary to start a pharmacological treatment of depression during these times. The aim of a review written by the Department of Mental Health, ASL Salerno 1, District n. 4, Cava de’ Tirreni (Salerno), Italy, titled “The Safety of Newer Antidepressants in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding” was to examine the effects on the fetus through placenta and maternal milk to the following drugs: fluoxetine, fluvoxamine, paroxetine, sertraline, citalopram, escitalopram, mirtazapine, venlafaxine, reboxetine and bupropion. There are limitations to some of the studies done on this subject, but older selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors seem to be without teratogenic risks. There may be possible consequences related to exposure to SSRIs from placenta and breastmilk, but these findings are still controversial.
However, reports do exist that show an association between placental exposure to SSRI and adverse effects on neonatal adaptation. Author Gentile S. is quoted saying “In addition, the information on both teratogenic and functional teratogenic risks associated with exposure to bupropion, mirtazapine and reboxetine is incomplete or absent; at present, these compounds should not be used as first-line agents in the pharmacological treatment of depression in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Untreated depression is not without its own risks since mothers affected by depression have a negative impact on the emotional development of their children and major depression, especially when complicated by a delusional component, may lead to the mother attempting suicide and infanticide.”
Mothers who are not mentally stable pose other risks for their children, so taking medications during pregnancy may be the best option. It is the job of your doctor to explain the risks of prenatal exposure to your child as well as the risks of untreated depression.
Due to the fact that many women who used SSRIs during pregnancy were not made aware of the risk for birth defects and poor neonatal adaptation associated with SSRIs, a number of Prozac® birth defects lawsuits, Paxil® birth defects lawsuits, Effexor® birth defects lawsuits, Celexa® birth defects lawsuits, Zoloft® birth defects lawsuits have been filed. Many other SSRIs have also been associated with birth defects and spark lawsuits all over the world.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be entitled to financial compensation through an SSRI birth defects lawsuit. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of SSRI birth defect lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.