In July 2012, the medical journal American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a study by R.M. Hayes et al. titled “Maternal antidepressant use and adverse outcomes: a cohort study of 228,876 pregnancies.”. This study, from Vanderbilt University (Nashville), provides important insight into the risks associated with SSRI use in pregnancy. To-date, these psychiatric drugs have been linked to increased risks for autism, heart defects, neurologic birth defects, poor neonatal adaptation, and other adverse birth outcomes.
About this study, Hayes writes, “We evaluated a cohort of 228,876 singleton pregnancies that were covered by Tennessee Medicaid, 1995-2007.”
“Of 23,280 pregnant women with antidepressant prescriptions before pregnancy, 75% of them filled none in the second or third trimesters of pregnancy, and 10.7% of them used antidepressants throughout pregnancy. Filling 1, 2, and ≥3 antidepressant prescriptions during the second trimester was associated with shortened gestational age by 1.7 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.3), 3.7 (95% CI, 2.8-4.6), and 4.9 (95% CI, 3.9-5.8) days, when controlled for measured confounders. Third-trimester selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use was associated with infant convulsions; adjusted odds ratios were 1.4 (95% CI, 0.7-2.8); 2.8 (95% CI, 1.9-5.5); and 4.9 (95% CI, 2.6-9.5) for filling 1, 2, and ≥3 prescriptions, respectively.”
In non-scientific terms, this means that women who filled three or more prescriptions for antidepressant drugs while pregnant gave birth to children who were, on average, about 5 days premature. Children born to mothers who filed one prescription for antidepressants in the last trimester were 40% more likely to have infant convulsions, and children born to mothers who filed three prescriptions for antidepressant drugs were nearly five times as likely to exhibit infant convulsions.
Accordingly, the team concluded that “Second-trimester antidepressant use is associated with preterm birth, and third-trimester selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor use is associated with infant convulsions.”
Since the manufacturers of many SSRI drugs have failed time and again to adequately warn women of the risks associated with SSRIs in pregnancy, SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed in great number in recent years.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who had an otherwise adverse neonatal 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.
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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.