SSRIs and SSRI Birth Defects

In the past decade, dozens of peer-reviewed reports have demonstrated that in utero exposure to a mother’s selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs is associated with an increased risk for a number of congenital malformations (birth defects), particularly heart malformations.

SSRI drugs are used to treat a variety of psychiatric conditions, ranging from Major Depressive Disorder to Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and were cleared by the United States FDA for these purposes in 2004 and again in later years.  In 2006, the FDA warned of possible complications resulting from SSRI use during pregnancy.

On 12/14/2011, the FDA warned of a possible association between SSRI use and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), and that association has since been confirmed by a number of studies.  This is not the only birth defect associated with in utero exposure to SSRIs, however.  An FDA safety communication cited that research  by Alwan et al. (2007) “showed that women who took an SSRI were more likely than those who were not exposed to have an infant with omphalocele,” a deadly birth defect.  That Alwan et al. (2007) publication is titled “Use of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects” and is summarized here.

SSRIs that have been associated with birth defects include Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Effexor, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, Serzone, and Remeron, and others.

Due to the fact that the manufacturers of many SSRI drugs have failed to warn women of the risk for birth defects associated with the drugs, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used SSRIs during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation for the undue injury endured by your family. For more information or a free, no-obligation SSRI lawsuit consultation, please do not hesitate to contact our team of SSRI birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.

(855) 452 – 5529  ∙

We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

How SSRIs Work:

Let’s start with some basic neuropsychology: thoughts result from neurological activity, which consists in the “firing” of neurons in sequence.  Neurons “communicate” with one another by releasing chemicals (neurotransmitters) into the space between one another, called the synapse.  There are many different kinds of neurotransmitters, and often many kinds of neurotransmitters are used at a single synapse.  One neurotransmitter is called serotonin (or “5-HT”), and it is believed that serotonin plays a role in mood regulation (among other things).  The general consensus in contemporary psychiatry is that the more serotonin molecules there are in the synapse, the better one’s mood will be.

It is not so much that serotonin is thought to make people happy or have happy thoughts, it is simply believed that an increased concentration of serotonin in the synapse can foster in people the ability to curb negative and/or anxious thoughts such as those associated with depression and anxiety, respectively.

Studies Show: SSRIs Pose Serious Danger to Developing Babies:

Some medical research articles have found associations between specific SSRI drugs and specific congenital malformations, and other studies have shown more generally that SSRI drugs are associated with an increased rate of congenital malformations.

For examples of scientific studies that found birth defect risk to be associated with one SSRI more than others, please feel free to browse the following categories available at our website:

Celexa birth defects

Effexor birth defects

Paxil birth defects

Prozac birth defects

Zoloft birth defects

Below is a link by which you can find summaries of scientific studies that evaluated the relationship between SSRI use and birth defects more broadly.

Scientific Research on Link between SSRIs and Birth Defects

Range of Birth Defects Associated with SSRIs

Birth defects associated with SSRI use include:

Anal Atresia
Aortic Stenosis
Cleft Lip, Cleft Palate
Coarctation of the Aorta
Fetal Heart Malformation
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Limb Reduction Defecits
Low Birth Weight
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Neonatal Behavioral Syndrome
Neonatal Withdrawal Syndrome
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Patent Foramen Ovale
Pulmonary Valve Stenosis
Spina Bifida
Transposition of the Great Arteries  
Tricuspid Atresia
Tricuspid Valve Stenosis


SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuits

Since so much research, peer-reviewed and published in world-renowned journals, has shown significant associations between SSRI use and an increased risk for fetal malformations, it is fair to conclude that SSRI manufacturers knew, or should have known the risks associated with their products.  Thus, the fact that many SSRI drug warning labels fail to make clear the increased risk for birth defects associated with SSRIs in light of all the evidence supporting such associations is simply due to negligence.  Many SSRI lawsuits have already been filed.

If you or a loved one used SSRIs during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be eligible to file an SSRI lawsuit to gain compensation for your family’s undue suffering.  For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our team of SSRI birth defect lawyers at the information below.

We have what it takes to fight even the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers and win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5529

Also, every post we’ve written about SSRI Birth Defects is available here.