SSRIs and Their Function
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs for short, are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. Designed specifically to treat major depression, they have also been used for a number of other mood disorders, including bulimia nervosa, panic and anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. They operate by altering the level of serotonin, a neurotransmitter critical to brain functioning, and they do this by inhibiting its reabsorption. The result is a strongly elevated mood, although the exact mechanism of action behind this is not entirely known. Many physicians who prescribe SSRI anti-depressants hold that SSRI antidepressants have a relatively modest side effect profile and are one of the safest medications for severe depression.
The Dangers of SSRIs For Pregnant Women
In recent years, several studies have indicated that SSRIs may pose a significant risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that mothers who had taken antidepressants during their pregnancy had a 600-percent greater chance of giving birth to an infant with persistent pulmonary hypertension. Another study in the British Medical Journal also found serious risks associated with SSRIs, stating that SSRIs significantly increased the risk of heart defects and other physical abnormalities. These studies provide evidence that SSRIs pass through the placental barrier, potentially damaging the fetus. Responding to studies such as these, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to release a public health warning that SSRIs were associated with an increased risk of birth defects.
The SSRI Lawsuit Surge
As studies on the dangers of SSRIs for pregnant women have been released, lawsuits concerning SSRIs have been increasing. Currently, over 500 SSRI lawsuits have been filed over Zoloft, a Pfizer-manufactured antidepressant. These lawsuits state both that SSRIs caused birth defects in the newborns of the plaintiffs and that the pharmaceutical companies that manufactured the SSRIs were negligent in warning consumers adequately about the dangers associated with using SSRIs during pregnancy.
Consider a Kentucky SSRI Lawsuit
SSRI birth defects can create a heavy emotional and financial burden upon families, requiring surgery and/or special medical care. If your family has been affected in Kentucky, you may be eligible to file an SSRI lawsuit seeking compensation for damages and medical expenses resulting from birth defects caused by SSRIs. If you’re unsure of what your next steps should be, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky. We can help answer your questions and help you understand your options in your particular situation. If you decide to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process. Contact us today to learn more in your free consultation.