The objective of a study titled “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome After in Utero Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake inhibitors in Term Infants”, written by researchers from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, led by R. Levinson-Castiel was to determine the prevalence and clinical characteristics of neonatal abstinence syndrome in neonates both exposed and not exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in utero.  The study was a cohort study taken place in tertiary care centers.  In all, there were 120 term infants used in this study.  Sixty of these infants had prolonged utero exposure to paroxetine hydrochloride (Paxil), fluoxetine (Prozac), citalopram hydrobromide (Celexa), sertraline hydrochloride (Zoloft), and venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor).

Levinson-Castiel writes “Neonatal abstinence syndrome was assessed with the Finnegan score as follows: score of 8 or above, severe; score of 4 to 7, mild; and score of 0 to 3, normal. All infants were followed up with a standardized protocol that included repeated Finnegan score assessments and cardiorespiratory monitoring until normalization of the Finnegan score.”

Shockingly, it was found that eight of ten neonates exposed to SSRIs showed some symptoms of a neonatal abstinence syndrome, and that 100 percent of all nonexposed neonates had a normal Finnegan score.  Levinson-Castiel further states “In neonates who developed severe symptoms, the maximum mean daily Finnegan scores were recorded within 2 days after birth, although maximum individual scores were recorded as long as 4 days after birth.”  Though long term effects of SSRI exposure are yet to be determined, neonatal abstinence syndrome was recorded in 30 percent of the neonates exposed to SSRIs.

If you or a loved one used an SSRI during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital malformation, your family may be entitled to significant financial compensation from the manufacturer of the drug used for the undue injury caused to those close to you.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Paxil® birth defects lawyers, Prozac® birth defects lawyers, Celexa® birth defects lawyers, Zoloft® birth defects lawyers, and Effexor® birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you and your loved ones 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.