An article by K.L. Wisner et al. published in the May, 2009 edition of American Journal of Psychiatry titled “Major depression and antidepressant treatment: impact on pregnancy and neonatal outcomes.” provides important insight into the adverse effects of SSRI use during pregnancy. This piece comes from Women’s Behavioral HealthCARE and the Department of Psychiatry at The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. We should note that over the past two decades, scores of studies have found connections between SSRI use during pregnancy and increased risk for congenital malformations, neonatal withdrawal syndrome, and other adverse birth outcomes.
Wisner states, “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) use during pregnancy incurs a low absolute risk for major malformations; however, other adverse outcomes have been reported. Major depression also affects reproductive outcomes. This study examined whether 1) minor physical anomalies, 2) maternal weight gain and infant birth weight, 3) preterm birth, and 4) neonatal adaptation are affected by SSRI or depression exposure,” in an attempt to discern whether maternal depression or maternal medication is more responsible for the observed increased risk for birth defects in these pregnancies.
Women studied in this report were broken down into three groups: “1) no SSRI, no depression (N=131); 2) SSRI exposure (N=71), either continuous (N=48) or partial (N=23); and 3) major depressive disorder (N=36), either continuous (N=14) or partial (N=22).” To be clear, “N” denotes the number of subjects in each group: an “N” of 131 in the first group indicates that 131 women were in the no-SSRI, no-depression group.
“Main outcomes were minor physical anomalies, maternal weight gain, infant birth weight, pregnancy duration, and neonatal characteristics.”
After statistical analysis, the team found that “Infants exposed to either SSRIs or depression continuously across gestation were more likely to be born preterm than infants with partial or no exposure” and that “For depressed pregnant women, both continuous SSRI exposure and continuous untreated depression were associated with preterm birth rates exceeding 20%.”
Since many women have used SSRIs during pregnancy unaware of the increased risk for birth defects and preterm birth, SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed in droves.
If you or someone you know used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation, you and your family 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.
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Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.