Today, I came across an article from the March, 2011 edition of Journal of Population Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology titled “The effect of ascertainment bias in evaluating gestational antidepressant exposure.” that helps illustrate the link between gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs and birth defects, heart defects in particular.

Here is the abstract of that article, by G. Koren, a researcher from the University of Toronto:

“Several administrative database studies have reported on a positive association between first trimester exposure to paroxetine and ventricular septal defects (VSD). Using multiple source data we have shown that depressed women utilize significantly more health care resources, including ultrasound, echocardiogram and emergency room visits for their babies. Hence, there is much higher chance to identify VSD in their babies than among healthy controls. Moreover, paroxetine has been used more specifically than other SSRI for anxiety, further increasing the chance of  ascertainment bias.”

The birth defect discussed, ventricular septal defect (VSD) , is a heart defect wherein a hole between the left and right ventricles of the heart fails to close after birth, resulting in a mixing of oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood and thus a decreased overall blood oxygen level.  Many other researchers have linked SSRI exposure (particularly Paxil exposure) before birth and VSD.

Because many expecting mothers have used SSRIs unaware of the risk for birth defects, a number of Paxil® birth defect lawsuits have been filed.

If you or a loved one used Paxil and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Paxil® birth defects 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.