An article titled “Early morbidity and mortality following in utero exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors: a population-based study in Western Australia.” by L. Colvin et al. (2012) first published in that year’s July edition of CNS Drugs explores the link between gestational exposure to SSRI drugs and adverse birth outcomes. To be clear, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are a class of psychiatric drugs that work to regulate the concentration of serotonin in certain neuropathways; serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood, appetite, sleep, and fetal development. In recent years, prenatal exposure to SSRI drugs like Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil has been linked to poor neonatal outcomes, SSRI birth defects including both neurological and heart defects, and autism.
Colvin states that “The objective of this study was to investigate the hospital admissions and mortality of children whose mothers were dispensed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) during their pregnancy.” This was a population-based study “of all pregnancy events in Western Australia (WA) from 2002 to 2005”. In all, “There were 3764 children born to 3703 women who had been dispensed an SSRI during their pregnancy (3.8% of all pregnancies in WA, 2002-5), and 94 561 children born to 92 995 women who had not been dispensed an SSRI.”
After statistical analysis, results showed that “Mean birth weight, length and APGAR score at 5 minutes were significantly lower in children of women dispensed an SSRI, regardless of whether the SSRI was dispensed in trimester 1, or, trimester 2 or 3 only.”
The team also found that children born to mothers who used SSRIs during pregnancy were 80% more likely to die before one year. And, “Before the age of 2 years, 42.9% of the children in the SSRI group had been admitted to hospital after their birth admission, compared with 34.1% of the non-SSRI group (OR 1.4; 95% CI 1.3, 1.6).” That means that children with prenatal SSRI exposure were 40% more likely than non-exposed children to require hospitalization by two years.
Unfortunately, thousands of women have used SSRIs while pregnant unaware of the risk for adverse birth outcomes and increased mortality due to a failure to warn on behalf of many manufacturers, SSRI birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with a birth defect or who had an otherwise poor 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 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.