In 2006, C.D. Chambers et al. published a study titled “Selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors and risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.” in The New England Journal of Medicine, further evaluating the connection between SSRI exposure and birth defects. Here, the link between SSRI drugs and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is explored. PPHN is a birth defect in which a newborn fails to adapt to breathing outside the womb, “defined as the failure of the normal circulatory transition that occurs after birth. It is a syndrome characterized by marked pulmonary hypertension that causes hypoxemia and right-to-left intracardiac shunting of blood” by Medscape.
Chambers states, “Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is associated with substantial infant mortality and morbidity. A previous cohort study suggested a possible association between maternal use of the selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) fluoxetine late in the third trimester of pregnancy and the risk of PPHN in the infant.” (To be clear, “fluoxetine” is the chemical name for the drug Prozac.) Chambers writes that for this study, “We performed a case-control study to assess whether PPHN is associated with exposure to SSRIs during late pregnancy.”
Studying 377 women who gave birth to children with PPHN and comparing their drug use with 836 control women, the team found that “Fourteen infants with PPHN had been exposed to an SSRI after the completion of the 20th week of gestation, as compared with six control infants (adjusted odds ratio, 6.1; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.2 to 16.8). In contrast, neither the use of SSRIs before the 20th week of gestation nor the use of non-SSRI antidepressant drugs at any time during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of PPHN.”
Therefore, Chambers concluded that “These data support an association between the maternal use of SSRIs in late pregnancy and PPHN in the offspring … These findings should be taken into account in decisions as to whether to continue the use of SSRIs during pregnancy.”
As a result of publications such as this, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed: the manufacturers of Prozac and many other SSRI drugs have failed time and again to warn women of these risks!
So, 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