The arrival of the “third generation” of antidepressants was originally considered a step forward in treating conditions like panic attacks, depression, anxiety disorders and various personality disorders. When the first of these new medications, Prozac (fluoxetine), was introduced in 1988, it was acclaimed for its more modest side effects compared to those caused by previous antidepressants. In 1992, Paxil was introduced as another progressive SSRI drug.
“SSRI” stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, and it refers to the ability of this class of drugs to limit the brain’s re-absorption of the chemical serotonin. Increased levels of serotonin help certain messages in the brain. The result is intended to be an enhanced mood.
Additional SSRIs came to market, such as Lexapro, Celexa and Zoloft, and by 2005, SSRIs had emerged as the most prescribed class of drugs in America.
Dangers of SSRI-type Medications
As this new class of antidepressants was used, concern over possible suicide risks arose. Evidence of the link between SSRIs and suicide grew to the point that, in 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety alert regarding the use of this class of drugs in children. In 2006, the warning was expanded to include those as old as 24-years-old.
Also in 2006, the FDA warned of a link between SSRI use in those who were pregnant and Serotonin Syndrome. This is a condition in which excessive amounts of the chemical can overwhelm the brain. Although it is most often associated with overdosing on SSRIs, it has also resulted from an inadvertent mixing of prescriptions that all elevate Serotonin. The syndrome has been known to cause death in a matter of minutes. The FDA also warned of PPHN, a medical diagnosis related to both lung and heart problems in infants.
As a result of these problems with SSRIs, Texas individuals and others have been involved in a number of SSRI lawsuits. There are also concerns raised in clinical trials that this class of commonly prescribed drugs may be associated in some manner with birth defects, including:
- Tetralogy of fallot (TOF)
- Coarctation of the aorta
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Spina bifida
- Ventricular and atrial septal defects
- Club foot
- Transportation of the great arteries (TGA)
Pregnant Texas women taking SSRIs prior to having children with birth defects may be able to seek compensation for injuries. SSRI lawsuits often seek damages for pain and suffering, medical expenses and possible long-term care needs.
Injured While Taking One of More SSRIs? You May Have a Texas SSRI Lawsuit
If you or someone you know has suffered injury after taking an SSRI such as Zoloft or Lexapro, consider contacting Attorney Group for Texas to discuss your situation. We can help answer your questions, and help you determine if you have a case. If you decide to pursue your claim, we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you through the legal process. Contact us today for your free consultation.