The objective of a study published by researchers from the OMNI Research Group within the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Ottawa, in Ottawa ON, titled “The Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy”, was to update literature on the safety of using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors during pregnancy.

For this study, author SW. Wen states “MEDLINE was searched for English-language papers published from 1985 to 2003 on human studies of SSRIs, using the key words “serotonin reuptake inhibitors,” “citalopram [(Celexa)],” “fluoxetine [(Prozac)],” “fluvoxamine,” “paroxetine [(Paxil)],” and “sertraline [(Zoloft)].””  Older studies on the safety of SSRIs in pregnancy were based on small samples from medical centers and had yielded inconsistent results.  This research team searched for and yielded 12,338 publications.  One of the things the Wen et al. (2003) team noticed was that clinicians are hesitant to prescribe anti depression drugs to pregnant women because of the potential risks to the fetus, making the management of pregnant women with depression very challenging.

The challenges that come with treatment of maternal depression can lead to worsening depression that can greatly compromise both maternal and fetal health.  Wen et al. (2003) also found that depression can impair bonding and child care in the postpartum period.  While there are still many questions and further investigations that need to be done and explored to accurately understand all of the dangerous surrounding SSRIs, many studies have shown that SSRI use during pregnancy is associated with a dramatically increased risk for a number of serious birth defects.

Having said that, the absolute risk for many of the birth defects associated with drugs like Celexa, Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and other SSRI drugs remains relatively low, and consultation with a specialist experienced in treating depression can be greatly helpful with the treatment of pregnant women with depression.  Population based studies done on a large scale are needed to comprehensively assess the safety of SSRIs in pregnant woman.

Due to the fact that thousands of women have used SSRIs during pregnancy unaware of the increased risk for birth defects associated with drugs like Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed.

If you or a loved one used an SSRI during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital malformation, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For more information, or a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI lawyers at the information below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.

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