Antidepressant medications are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in America used to treat depression, anxiety, and certain personality disorders. However, the safety of these drugs are compromised when taken by pregnant women.
What is Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome?
HRHS is a congenital (present at birth) defect characterized by the underdevelopment of the right side structures of the heart. The chambers, valves and related blood vessels on the right side of the heart are malformed. This malformation involves the pulmonary valve atresia, a very small right ventricle, a small tricuspid valve, and a small hypoplastic pulmonary artery. As the ventricle has failed to grow and develop, muscle structure is poor so additional problems are encountered as the heart attempts to pump blood to the pulmonary valve for transfer to the lungs.
Can antidepressant use lead to HRHS in newborns?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has advised expectant mothers and those who plan to become pregnant to avoid antidepressants. FDA’s warning came following studies showing that such drugs increased the risk of birth defects like HRHS in children whose mothers use such medications while pregnant.
Antidepressants linked to HRHS
The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of HRHS in children born to mothers who took them during pregnancy:
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
Living with Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome
After corrective surgery is performed on your child, he or she has a good chance of living a normal, happy life. However, as children with HRHS may tire out faster than children without the condition, your healthcare professional will likely recommend that your child be restricted from high-contact sports and activities that lead to exertion. Often, children with HRHS will require daily medication to ensure optimum heart function. Regular visits with a cardiologist should also be expected.
Do I have an HRHS Lawsuit?
The Defective Drug & Products Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant birth defects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new HRHS cases in all 50 states.