Today, I found a 2011 article in Psychopharmacology by R.C. Casper titled “Length of prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants: effects on neonatal adaptation and psychomotor development.” that further illustrates how SSRI use during pregnancy can lead to poor neonatal development and adverse birth outcomes.

This article, from The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine, made available by PubMed Health, a service of the United States National Library of Medicine and The National Institutes of Health, is one of many pieces of research that links selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) to birth defects.

In this study, “Birth outcome was determined in the offspring of 55 women with major depressive disorder who used SSRI medication for different durations during their pregnancies. At an average age of 14 months, children underwent a pediatric examination and an evaluation with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-II).”

Mainly, the team found that “Duration of in utero exposure to SSRIs was negatively associated with total Apgar scores, specifically the activity subscale”, meaning that the longer children were exposed to SSRIs in pregnancy, the worse neonatal adaptation was observed to be.  “Odds ratios for a low score (<2) on this scale were 3.8 and 6.0 at 1 and 5 min, respectively. Newborns with longer exposure were more often admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (p < .03).”  And, the team found that “Mental Development Index scores of the infants were not associated with the length of gestational exposure to SSRIs. A longer duration of exposure increased the risk for lower Psychomotor Developmental Index and Behavioral Rating Scale scores in infancy (p = 0.012 and p = 0.007, respectively) on the BSID-II.”

As such, the team concluded that their research is “evidence that the length of prenatal SSRI antidepressant use can affect neonatal adjustment and can have an effect on psychomotor test scores in infancy. Importantly, the children’s mental development and motor function by neurological examination were within the normal range. Timing of exposure to SSRIs during susceptible periods of fetal development and variations in the severity of maternal depression may have contributed to the associations.”

This article can be used in an SSRI birth defect lawsuit to demonstrate that the medical community has known the risks for adverse birth outcomes from SSRI exposure while the manufacturers of many SSRI drugs failed to inform users.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or who had adverse birth outcomes, 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.

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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.