Birth Defects and SSRI’s
Although studies have suggested that certain types of anti-depression medication can lead to birth defects, the most commonly talked-about are SSRI’s, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Because these studies only suggest a link between anti-depressants and birth defects in babies, many pregnant women are still prescribed these medications by physicians and medical facilities. The medical communities do not have conclusive evidence that proves anti-depression meds can cause complications with pregnancy and babies; so they are still recommending these prescriptions for pregnant women. There is, however, one anti-depressant medication that has been proven to cause several heart defects, as well as, a rare lung and heart condition in infants and newborns. Here are the most commonly prescribed SSRI anti-depressants:
The heart and lung condition that has been linked to birth defects is called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension or PPHN. This disease is a very serious condition that requires comprehensive medical treatment and intensive monitoring. An infant’s circulatory system might not be able to supply the needed oxygen to the soft tissue, even with treatment. This can result in brain hemorrhages, shock, heart failure, lung failure, and several other medical emergencies.So why are doctors prescribing these medications to pregnant women when studies have shown these linkages? Why take the risk of potential birth defects and possible infant death for the sake of one’s depression? The answer is not so simple. It starts with the FDA, or Food and Drug Administration. They do not retain conclusive proof that birth defects or fatalities occur from these drugs; instead, they have only conflicting information about the link between the two.
A 2006 FDA study, focusing on newborns whose mothers took anti-depressant SSRI’s in the second half of their pregnancy, revealed that PPHN was six times more likely in SSRI pregnancies than in pregnancies without SSRI usage. The FDA issued an advisory warning. However, three latter studies proved inconclusive results. As a result, the FDA retracted their 2006 warning derived from the initial study, and directed physicians to continue prescribing the drugs as they have before.
If you or a loved one has recently given birth to a newborn that is experiencing any relative symptoms of PPHN or other medical condition, and the mother was taking an SSRI or other anti-depressant during the second half of their pregnancy, contact an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer to learn your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for the mother and child’s damages. Be sure to trust a licensed and reputable medical malpractice attorney Indianapolis for accurate and effective legal counsel.