Today, I came across a 2007 study linking adverse birth outcomes with exposure to Prozac (fluoxetine) during pregnancy. This article, by E. Fornaro et al., a team of Canadian medical researchers, titled “Prenatal exposure to fluoxetine induces fetal pulmonary hypertension in the rat.” published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine links persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and Prozac exposure in a rat model.
As rational for this study, Fornaro et al. (2007) write “Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant widely used by pregnant women. Epidemiological data suggest that fluoxetine exposure prenatally increases the prevalence of persistent pulmonary hypertension syndrome of the newborn. The mechanism responsible for this effect is unclear and paradoxical, considering the current evidence of a pulmonary hypertension protective fluoxetine effect in adult rodents.”
Treating pregnant rats with Prozac and delivering babies via cesarean section, researchers found “As compared with controls, fluoxetine exposure resulted in fetal pulmonary hypertension as evidenced by an increase in the weight ratio of the right ventricle to the left ventricle plus septum (P = 0.02) and by an increase in pulmonary arterial medial thickness (P < 0.01).”
The team also found that “Postnatal mortality was increased among experimental animals” and concluded that “fluoxetine exposure in utero induces pulmonary hypertension in the fetal rat as a result of a developmentally regulated increase in pulmonary vascular smooth muscle proliferation.”
These findings have been replicated in large, correlational retrospective studies of human subjects. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn is the most common congenital anomaly associated with gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and can be very dangerous, as is alluded by Fornaro et al. (2007) with reports of increased neonatal mortality.
Because so many women have used Prozac and other SSRIs unaware of these risks, a number of Prozac birth defect lawsuits have been filed. If you or a loved one used Prozac and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Prozac® birth defect lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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