SSRI Drugs and Birth Defects

Everybody wants their children to be born healthy and strong. Sadly, too many children are not, and for reasons that could have been prevented. This is especially true in situations where mothers were prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs–like Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft–during pregnancy.

In January of 2012, the British Medical Journal published a study that linked SSRIs to the lung defect Persistant Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborns (PPHN) in infants of mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy.

This study is one of many that has reached similar conclusions about the potentially dangerous effects SSRIs can have on infants. The New England Journal of Medicine, the University of California San Diego, Boston University, and the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants have published articles that show strong evidence that antidepressant drugs can cause such serious birth defects as:

  • heart, brain and spinal defects
  •  skull deformities
  • clubfoot
  • abdominal abnormalities

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that 20% of all Americans taking antidepressants, with millions among these being mothers. Drug manufacturers are now facing numerous legal challenges: GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil, has already begun resolving some of this litigation. A Bloomberg article from July of 2010 reports that GSK has so far spent around $1 billion to resolve birth defect claims. Approximately 800 of these were settled with awards that averaged $1.2 million each.

If you were prescribed an SSRI and gave birth to a child PPHN or any other serious birth defect, then you may be entitled to a settlement as well. Stapleton & Barrera is ready to go over the details of your situation. If your case qualifies, we will aggressively pursue compensation for you and your child. Please contact our firm today and let us fight for your rights.

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