SSRI/Anti-Depressant Birth Defects


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reported that a number of studies have suggested a link between common anti-depressants and serious birth defects. Research has shown that a number of birth defects are caused by SSRIs which are more commonly referred to as anti-depressants. SSRI stands for Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor which is a class of drugs used mainly to treat depression but also used to treat other conditions. When SSRIs are taken during pregnancy they often lead to serious birth defects.

Types of SSRI/Anti-Depressants

The more common anti-depressants and their generic equivalents are:

  • Celexa/citalopram
  • Effexor/venlafaxine
  • Zoloft/sertraline
  • Prozac/fluoxetine
  • Paxil/paroxetine

These prescription drugs are primarily prescribed for depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive compulsive disorder(OCD), migraines, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, SSRIs/anti-depressants are prescribed for a wide range of conditions and it is irrelevant why they were prescribed. The only important fact is that they were prescribed for use during pregnancy.

Birth Defects

One of the most serious birth defects known to be caused by SSRIs is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). PPHN affects a newborn’s heart and lungs and can result in multiple organ damage, brain damage and death. Separate from PPHN SSRIs can cause developmental heart defects by causing septal defects or holes in the walls of the heart. SSRIs have been linked to neural tube defects and malformation of the skull and brain which usually results in death a short period after birth. A more commonly known birth defect is cleft palate/lip. SSRIs also cause and increased incidence of autism.

Legal Action

If you or a loved one took an anti-depressant for any reason during pregnancy and your child was born with and SSRI related birth defect you should contact us. We may be able to help you obtain compensation.

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