SSRIs- Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, etc. | Alabama Birth Defect Attorney
Recent studies suggest that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may be linked to serious birth defects in infants who took certain anxiety and antidepressant medications during pregnancy. SSRIs work by increasing the serotonin levels in the patient’s brain and help to elevate mood. The medications currently under investigation include Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac, Celexa and Effexor.
Women who were taking these medications during pregnancy and delivered a baby with birth defects are urged to seek legal counsel from Alabama birth defect attorneys to learn more about filing a claim and seeking compensation for medical bills and other damages pertaining to their babies’ injuries.
What Conditions Do SSRIs Treat?
These drugs, including Zoloft, are designed to help stabilize a variety of mood disorders including depression, social anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. While thousands of patients have taken these medications without complications, those who were prescribed and treated with these drugs during pregnancy have an increased risk of delivering babies with birth defects. Potential plaintiffs are encouraged to work with Alabama birth defect attorneys to learn more about their legal rights and possibly file lawsuits to seek compensation for their babies’ injuries.
Alleged Risk of Birth Defects
A Danish study concluded that pregnant women taking Zoloft and other similar medications were at a 60 percent increased risk of giving birth to a baby with a heart defect if the baby was exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester. However, plaintiffs and Alabama birth defect attorneys are alleging that heart defects are not the only risk; skull and abdominal birth defects were also reported in the study.
In light of clinical trials and adverse event reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised expecting mothers and those attempting to conceive to avoid using Zoloft and other antidepressants to reduce the risk of birth defects in their babies. All but one medication is currently labeled with the FDA’s Category C classification, acknowledging that animal studies investigating the link concluded that birth defects in babies were prevalent in animals given these medications.
Common birth defects in infants exposed to Zoloft and other SSRIs include:
- Heart defects
- Atrial septal defects
- Spina bifida
- Cleft palate
- Limb deformity
- Pulmonary hypertension
Several of these conditions, such as pulmonary hypertension, are life-threatening and can be fatal to the newborn if not detected and treated early. Others, such as heart defects, may require one or more surgeries throughout the course of the child’s life. Plaintiffs and Alabama birth defect attorneys allege that these procedures, although often necessary for the survival of the child, would not have been needed if women had been adequately warned about the dangers of taking these drugs during pregnancy.
As a result, lawsuits are currently pending against manufacturers of Zoloft and other SSRIs for failing to properly warn the public and the medical community about the risks of antidepressants during pregnancy. As of September 2013, more than 370 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits were pending in a Philadelphia federal court against the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer; it is expected that the number of cases will continue to increase.
Why File a Lawsuit?
According to Alabama birth defect attorneys, drug makers have the legal responsibility to warn about a drug’s dangers; when they allegedly fail to do so, innocent consumers can suffer from devastating and life-altering side effects and consequences. Similarly, these manufacturers also have a duty to test each product they release to the public for possible health risks and release warnings or notifications to inform the public of any noted complications. When manufacturers fail in these two regards, they may be held liable for the injuries that ensue.
Other claims against manufacturers noted by Alabama birth defect attorneys include:
- Failure to disclose results of studies
- Failure to conduct post-marketing safety surveillance
- Marketing, producing and selling allegedly dangerous drugs
- Negligence for failing to warn medical professionals, the FDA and the public
- Marketing and promoting SSRIs to pregnant women when it was allegedly known that Zoloft and other drugs increased the risk of birth defects
Need to Consult an Alabama Birth Defect Attorney? Contact Us Now
Have you or someone you love taken Zoloft, Paxil or other SSRIs during pregnancy and delivered a baby with birth defects? As a parent, you understand how much your baby’s condition will change your life and theirs – from surgeries, medications and visits to the physician, your lives are forever altered. Contact Attorney Group for Alabama today to get answers to your questions. If you feel you have a valid claim and would like to file for damages, we will evaluate your case at no cost and connect you with experienced Alabama birth defect attorneys who will handle your case.