SSRIs- Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, etc.
Physicians prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to patients struggling with a variety of conditions such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders and obsessive compulsive disorders. The medications work to increase serotonin levels in the brain and help boost mood, sleep patterns and behavior. However, studies show that these drugs including Zoloft may have a direct relationship with birth defects in newborns.
If you or someone you love were taking SSRIs during pregnancy and delivered a baby with birth defects such as abdominal, skull or heart deformities or conditions, contact Arkansas birth defect attorneys who can help to determine if you have an eligible claim. You may be entitled to seek compensation for medical expenses, disfigurement and other damages.
Common SSRIs that have been named in recent lawsuits by Arkansas birth defect attorneys include:
Possible Link Between Birth Defects and SSRIs?
Citing evidence from mounting clinical trials and studies, plaintiffs and Arkansas birth defect attorneys allege that SSRIs such as Zoloft and Paxil can cause serious and sometimes life-threatening birth defects in babies. Some common birth defects include:
- Tetralogy of fallot (TOF)
- Spina bifida
- Heart defects
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN)
- Transportation of the great arteries (TGA)
- Coarctation of the aorta
Additionally, Arkansas birth defect attorneys and the plaintiffs whom they represent allege that pregnant women taking SSRIs may be at an increased risk of both delivering a baby prematurely and having a baby of a low birth weight. Studies and evidence also show that newborns may withdraw from the medications after birth, evident through symptoms such as seizures, crying, respiratory distress, shivering, jitters and irritability.
A Danish study conducted in 2005 concluded that pregnant women taking SSRIs like Zoloft were 60 times more likely to deliver a newborn with birth defects if the mother took the medication within the first trimester. While many immediately think of birth defects as simply involving the heart, skull and abdominal deformities and complications have been reported.
SSRIs are Safe, to Some Extent
Many patients have successfully taken these medications as a way to help treat certain disorders. There is no solid proof that women, as a whole, should avoid Zoloft and other drugs. However, pregnant women are advised to exercise caution. Common side effects disappear within two to three weeks and include:
- Weight loss or gain
- Vomiting, diarrhea, nausea
- Dizziness, drowsiness
- Restlessness, nervousness, agitation
- Bleeding into the stomach
- Increased risk of suffering from bone fractures
- Sexual complications including erectile dysfunction, inability to reach orgasm and reduced desire
- Dry mouth, headache, insomnia
Why are Plaintiffs Filing Lawsuits Against Drug Manufacturers?
Women are working with Arkansas birth defect attorneys to file claims alleging that they were misinformed, or not aware at all, of the potential risks and side effects of the medications during pregnancy. Some allegations include claims that manufacturers did not inform the medical community or the public about these risks and continued to aggressively market their products despite mounting evidence.
Paxil, similar to Zoloft, has been shown to directly increase a patient’s risk of causing lung and heart complications in their newborns when taken during pregnancy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has advised pregnant women to cease taking the medication and consult with a healthcare provider to obtain an alternative drug. However, it is unfortunately too late for many women who have already delivered babies with birth defects; these mothers and families are working with Arkansas birth defect attorneys to seek compensation for damages.
While some birth defects are treatable if diagnosed early, for some families, the only option with a chance of success may involve a heart transplant, heart operation, reconstructive plastic surgery or other serious procedure. In these cases, medications, surgeries and treatments are often expensive; many families struggle to find the finances to cover these procedures. Compensation can help to cover these medical bills and help to restore peace to the family.
Have Questions? Consult with Arkansas Birth Defect Attorneys Today
Have you or someone you love taken Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro or other SSRI during pregnancy and delivered a baby with heart, skull or abdominal defects? Attorney Group for Arkansas is here to help. We will help answer questions you may have and work to determine if you are entitled to file a lawsuit. We will connect you with experienced Arkansas birth defect attorneys who will handle your case and fight to get you the compensation to which you are entitled. You may be eligible to receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, surgeries, medications and treatments depending on the circumstances surrounding your individual situation. So contact Attorney Group for Arkansas today for your free consultation.