Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are a class of commonly-prescribed antidepressants that include well known drugs like Prozac and Paxil. These drugs have been approved by the FDA to treat depression, and many physicians also prescribe them to treat panic and anxiety disorders, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder and PMDD. As more medical research has become available and more SSRI lawsuits are filed, the treatment of pregnant women with these types of antidepressants remains the subject of debate.
SSRI birth defects result in lawsuits
A significant number of reports concerning SSRI birth defects has led to the filing of many SSRI lawsuits against the makers of the following medications:
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Paxil, Pexeva (Paroxetine)
- Prozac, Sarafem (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Symbyax (Olanzapine and Fluoxetine Hydrochloride)
- Luvox (Fluvoxamine)
- Viibryd (Vilazadone)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
- Cymbalta (Duloxetine)
SSRI birth defects may include:
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Abdominal Birth Defects
- Limb Abnormalities (including club foot)
- Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
- Neural Tube Defects
- Craniosynostosis (an abnormally shaped skull)
- Anal Atresia (partial or complete closure of anus)
To date, SSRI lawsuits are pending in various courts around the country. Litigation has been fueled by studies appearing in reputable publications such as Obstetrics and Gynecology (2011) and the New England Journal of Medicine that have demontrated an increase in birth defects among women who used SSRIs during pregnancy than those who did not.
The FDA also released public health warnings in 2004 and 2006, linking use of these medications to certain SSRI birth defects, particularly PPHN and other heart defects. Despite those earlier findings, the FDA announced in December 2011, that the various studies may presenting conflicting evidence of SSRI birth defects. How that shift will affect pending SSRI lawsuits remains to be seen.
Parents of a child born with SSRI birth defects may seek legal advice to determine whether they have a viable lawsuit against the drug makers. Experienced SSRI lawyers can also help navigate the intricacies of pharmaceutical litigation from getting a claim filed on time to choosing the proper jurisdiction and venue for the claim to following all relevant rules of discovery and courtroom procedure.
SSRI lawyers aim to procure their clients reasonable compensation for the injuries they have endured. Typical SSRI lawsuits demand damages for past medical expenses, future medical care, loss of earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering.