In 2009, S. Alwan and J.M. Friedman, a research duo from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, published a study titled “Safety of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy.” in CNS Drugs that provided important insight into the link between gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (such as Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft) and serious congenital malformations.
Because it’s written in plain English and not-so-scientific terms, I have included the abstract below:
“Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most commonly used medications, with a prescription frequency of 2.3% in pregnant women. Although most babies born to women who take SSRIs during pregnancy are normal, there is accumulating evidence that maternal SSRI treatment during pregnancy may cause adverse reproductive outcomes.
Maternal SSRI treatment during the first trimester has been implicated in increased risks of birth defects, specifically cardiac abnormalities, in the infant, whereas third-trimester treatment has been linked to various neonatal complications, including symptoms of neonatal withdrawal and toxicity, prematurity, low birth weight and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn. Although data on neurobehavioural and long-term cognitive problems among children of women who were treated with SSRIs during pregnancy remain limited, the possibility of such functional abnormalities is an additional concern.
On the other hand, untreated maternal depression also carries serious risks for both the mother and the baby, and SSRIs are one of the best available treatments. Thus, pregnant women who require treatment for depression and their physicians often face a difficult choice regarding the use of SSRIs.”
While untreated maternal depression does in fact constitute a serious problem, it is of utmost concern that expecting mothers make informed decisions regarding drug use during pregnancy. And because the manufacturers of many SSRI drugs have failed time and again to adequately inform women of these risks, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs 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 SSRI 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.
(855) 452 – 5529
Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.