SSRI Birth Injuries and Lawsuits

ZoloftIf you were taking a class of antidepressant called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) during the first trimester of your pregnancy, and your baby was diagnosed with PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension), or any other kind of breathing problem at birth, you need to speak with a personal injury attorney right away.

Zoloft Lawsuits

Zoloft lawsuits came about because pharmaceutical companies did not adequately warn expectant moms and the medical community about Zoloft and other antidepressant medicines.  Zoloft is one of the SSRI medications that have been linked to PPHN.  Zoloft is a brand name antidepressant medicine in the SSRI class.  Other SSRI’s include Paxil, Celexa, Prozac, and Effexor.

The dangerous side effect of Zoloft is the link to PPHN.  PPHN is a very serious condition that happens when pressure remains high in the pulmonary artery after birth and the poorly oxygenated blood continues to be shunted to the systemic circulation.  This results in the lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain.  Death has occurred in some cases.

It is possible to treat PPHN and ease the immediate symptoms it causes.  Infants who are treated for PPHN appear normal afterwards.  But every single second their body is deprived of oxygen can cause very serious damage that may not show up at first.  Many babies who don’t have symptoms related to PPHN at birth have shown developmental delays later on.

Other SSRI Birth Injuries – Paxil Lawsuits

Studies have shown there is an increased risk of birth defects when the mothers have taken Paxil during their pregnancy.  WebMD reported that studies indicated an increased chance of heart defects in babies born to mothers who took Paxil.  The New England Journal of Medicine published that there is a high risk of breathing problems in newborns of mothers who have taken Paxil during pregnancy.  The Mayo Clinic says that SSRIs work to block some of the brain cells from reabsorbing serotonin, leaving more of it in the brain.  The more serotonin there is in the brain, the person tends to be in a better mood.

Pregnancy and SSRI Medications

Several million women have used prescription antidepressants.  Due to the lack of adequate warning labels from the makers of these drugs, these women continue to take these medications throughout their pregnancies.  SSRI’s have been particularly dangerous having caused PPHN numerous times.

FDA Warnings for Zoloft and Other SSRI Medications

In July 2006, the FDA issued a health warning to the public and urged the makers of SSRI medications to change the packaging information detailing the potential risks of PPHN.  The FDA is warning that babies who are exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester have developed severe respiratory issues that require prolonged stays in the hospital, respiratory support, and tube feeding.

If you took an SSRI medication like Zoloft or Paxil during your pregnancy, and your baby was diagnosed with PPHN or some other respiratory problem at birth, you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

CONTACT The Lieser Law Firm today for a FREE case evaluation.