A study published in the September, 2004 edition of The international journal of neuropsyhopharmacology titled “A pilot study of newer antidepressant concentrations in cord and maternal serum and possible effects in the neonate.” by J. Rampono et al. provides further insight into the connection between gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs and adverse birth outcomes. These drugs, such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, Effexor, Zoloft, and others, have been linked to a range of serious birth defects in the past two decades.
The authors write, “Antidepressants are often used antenatally, and placental transfer may lead to adverse effects (toxicity) in the neonate” and state that “Pregnant women taking fluoxetine (n=4), sertraline (n=4), paroxetine (n=2) or venlafaxine (n=1) in the last trimester were studied” in this trial, collecting “Maternal and cord sera … at delivery and infant serum on day 5 after birth for measurement of antidepressant concentrations. Neonatal Abstinence Scores (NAS) were measured in the infants on days 13 after birth.”
Results showed that “In maternal serum, median drug concentrations were: fluoxetine (96 microg/l), norfluoxetine (110 microg/l), sertraline (11 microg/l), desmethylsertraline (38 microg/l), paroxetine (mean 12 microg/l), venlafaxine (220 microg/l), and O-desmethylvenlafaxine (392 microg/l). Corresponding median values in cord serum were: fluoxetine (65 microg/l), norfluoxetine (81 microg/l), sertraline (10 microg/l), desmethylsertraline (27 microg/l), paroxetine (mean 6 microg/l), venlafaxine (232 microg/l), and O-desmethylvenlafaxine (406 microg/l). Corresponding median cord:maternal concentration ratios were 0.67 for fluoxetine and 0.72 for norfluoxetine, 0.67 for sertraline and 0.63 for demethylsertraline, 0.52 (mean) for paroxetine, and 1.1 and 1.0 for venlafaxine and O-desmethylvenlafaxine respectively.
This means that the antidepressant drugs studied all passed easily to the developing fetuses. The team states, “The neonates of two patients taking fluoxetine had high NAS”, meaning that Prozac was linked to neonatal abstinence syndrome.
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.
(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.