Published in the July, 2011 edition of Pediatric Research, a study by D. Rurak and a team from The University of British Columbia (Vancouver) titled “Third trimester fetal heart rate and Doppler middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity characteristics during prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor exposure.” examined the relationship between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) and poor birth outcomes.

This team writes, “Prenatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) exposure increases the risk for adverse neonatal behavioral outcomes; although it is unknown whether altered brain function is present before birth” and clarifies that they “investigated fetal vascular and heart rate changes at 36-wk gestation in SSRI-treated women with mood disorders (n = 29) [exposed (EXP)] and controls (n = 45) [non-EXP (NEXP)]. Fetal middle cerebral artery (MCA) flow parameters and heart rate characteristics were obtained during pre-SSRI dose morning and postdose afternoon sessions.”

Results showed that “The fHR short- and long-term variations, accelerations, and duration of high variability episodes remained lower and did not change across the day in EXP, whereas all increased significantly in NEXP. In both groups, MCA flow velocity and volume flow increased significantly across the day. EXP MCA pulsatility index was significantly lower, as was MCA cross-sectional area. EXP cord Hb and hematocrit were significantly increased. Prenatal SSRI exposure reduced fetal MCA flow resistance and fHR variability, before and after an SSRI dose, controlling for maternal mood. These changes and the SSRI-related increased red cell indices suggest possible fetal hypoxia.”

Since many women use SSRIs while pregnant unaware of potentially serious risks posed to the fetus, thousands of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed around the world.  And, if you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a birth defect, 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 compassion, experience, and resources 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.