Over the past several decades, drugs like Prozac and Zoloft have come under fire over a connection to birth defects (and host of other negative consequences related to SSRI use in pregnancy). Recently, I came across a piece by L.E. Grzeskowiak et al. (2012) published in Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology titled “Neonatal outcomes after late-gestation exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.”. This team of researchers from Adelaide (Australia) “aimed to investigate neonatal outcomes after prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during late-gestation” via a retrospective cohort study with “records from the Women’s and Children’s Health Network in South Australia, Australia, including the Perinatal Statistics Collection and the Hospital Pharmacy Dispensing Records.”
After a great deal of statistical work, results showed “Two hundred twenty-one women received a dispensing for an SSRI during pregnancy, 1566 had a psychiatric illness but did not receive a dispensing for an SSRI, and 32,004 did not have a psychiatric illness and did not receive a dispensing for an SSRI. Compared to infants of women with a psychiatric illness but no SSRI use, infants of women exposed to SSRIs had an increased risk of preterm delivery (adjusted OR, 2.68; 95% CI, 1.83-3.93), low birth weight (adjusted OR, 2.26; 95% CI, 1.31-3.91), admission to hospital (adjusted OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 1.39-2.65), and length of hospital stay longer than 3 days (adjusted OR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.11-3.36) but not small-for-gestational age (adjusted OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.65-1.94). Psychiatric illness but no SSRI use during pregnancy was only associated with an increased likelihood of neonatal hospital admission (adjusted OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.07-1.38).”
This means that pregnancies in which mothers used SSRIs were 2.68 times as likely to end prematurely, 2.26 times as likely to result in a child of low birth weight, and 92% more likely to require hospitalization for the newborn. This team also found that most of these adverse consequences were not the result of maternal psychiatric condition but rather maternal medication status.
Grzeskowiak et al. (2012) concluded that “these results add to the growing body of evidence of an association between SSRI exposure during pregnancy and a range of adverse neonatal outcomes”. Since so many women have used SSRIs unaware of these risks due to failure to warn on the part of SSRI manufacturers, SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed in droves in recent years.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who faced neonatal complications, 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.
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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.