In 2010, a team of researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne (Australia) led by A.J. Lewis published a study titled “Neonatal growth outcomes at birth and one month postpartum following in utero exposure to antidepressant medication.” in The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry that aimed to clear up concerns of adverse neonatal outcomes following exposure to antidepressants in pregnancy. To-date, a number of studies have shown that congenital malformations are linked to exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs), particularly Paxil, and especially in the first trimester.
Here, Lewis et al. (2010) state that “There is evidence of increasing prescription of antidepressant medication in pregnant women. This has arisen from the recognition of the importance of treating maternal depression. This must be balanced, however, with information on outcomes for infants and children exposed to antidepressants in pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to examine whether neonatal outcomes including gestational age at birth, neonatal growth outcomes at birth and then at 1 month postpartum were altered by in utero exposure to antidepressant medication using a prospective and controlled design.”
Studying 27 pregnant women who used antidepressants and comparing birth outcomes with 27 controls, Lewis et al. (2010) found that “Infants exposed to antidepressants in utero were eightfold more likely to be born at a premature gestational age, had significantly lower birthweight and were smaller in length and head circumference than non-exposed infants. There was no association between birth outcomes and maternal depression. At 1 month, the difference in weight in the exposed group became significantly greater than the control group.”
To be clear, this team found that antidepressant-exposed infants were eight times as likely to be born prematurely, and were born with a lower birth weight.
Accordingly, the team concludes that “Antidepressant exposure in utero may affect gestational age at birth and neonatal outcomes independently of antenatal maternal depression.” Due to the fact that the manufacturers of many antidepressant drugs have failed to adequately warn women of adverse birth outcomes related to antidepressant exposure in pregnancy, 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 birth defect or who had an otherwise adverse birth outcome, 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 compassion, resources, and experience required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
(855) 452 – 5529