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Symbyax Class Action Lawsuit

Symbyax Class Action Lawsuit

Recent studies have found that women who take antidepressant medications like Symbyax during pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with serious congenital defects. These side effects may be life-threatening and include heart, lung and cranial birth defects.

Free Symbyax Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with birth defects after the mother took Symbyax in pregnancy, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Symbyax and we can help.

What is Symbyax?

Symbyax is an antidepressant that contains fluoxetine and olanzapine. Fluoxetine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), and olanzapine is an antipsychotic drug. These ingredients help to regulate neurotransmitters in the brain. Symbyax is prescribed to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression).

Symbyax Birth Defects

Women may be eligible to seek compensation through a Symbyax Lawsuit, as this and other similar antidepressants have been linked to the following birth defects:

About Symbyax Class Action Lawsuits

Although we are a nationally recognized class action firm, the Products Liability Litigation Group at our law firm has decided against the filing of a Symbyax Class Action Suit, and is currently filing individual claims on behalf of families whose children were born with Symbyax birth defects.

A class action is a type of lawsuit filed with the court on behalf of large group of people or “class” of individuals that have been injured or wronged. The class is represented by the law firm and the case is generally decided upon a single member of the class who is sometimes referred to as the “class representative or class rep.”

Why Our Law Firm Is Filing Individual Lawsuits Opposed To a Class Action

In some instances, a class action may offer some advantages, as they aggregate a large number of individualized claims into one representational lawsuit. The aggregation can increase the efficiency of the legal process, lower the costs of litigation and in some cases offer the solution to a common problem wherein small recoveries do not provide the incentive for any individual or law firm to file an individual lawsuit.

However, a class action suit can also be a detriment to many class members, as they are often forced into a blanket “low ball settlement” and higher attorney fees. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we understand that our clients are suffering emotionally and economically due to loss of wages and/or high medical bills and we plan to maximize each client’s recovery by filing individual Symbyax Lawsuits on their behalf.

Do I Have a Symbyax Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Symbyax Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Symbyax birth defect cases in all 50 states.

Free Symbyax Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was born with a birth defect after the mother took Symbyax while pregnant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Symbyax Suit and we can help.

Antidepressants Linked to Seizures, Premature Births

Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit

Add two new problems to the growing list of birth defects linked to antidepressant medications. A new study suggests that women who take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to give birth prematurely, or have babies who have seizures shortly after being born. FDA-approved medications from the SSRI class include Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro and Celexa.

Free Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with birth defects after being exposed to an antidepressant drug in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of antidepressant and we can help.

What’s the problem?

May 30, 2012 – The new study, which was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, identified nearly 229,000 babies born to Tennessee women who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy. The research found that mothers who filled two or three prescriptions during their second trimester tended to have babies that stayed in the womb four to five days less than other babies. Additionally, neonates were more likely to have a seizure if their mother used an SSRI during the third trimester.

SSRIs are some of the most widely-prescribed drugs on the planet, and include:

In light of the many risks posed by the maternal use of antidepressants during pregnancy, a growing movement within the medical community is urging expecting mothers to consider other avenues for the treatment of their depression. “Stopping antidepressants during pregnancy if possible is the safest bet,” says Dr. Richard C. Shelton, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Basic recommendation is that if a woman can come off antidepressants, that’s probably the best course to take,” Shelton told Reuters Health.

Which other birth defects have been linked to SSRIs?

In addition to the risk of seizures and premature birth, antidepressants from the SSRI class have been linked to the following birth defects:

Do I Have an Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.

Free Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with birth defects after being exposed to an antidepressant drug in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a antidepressant birth defects suit and we can help.

New Study Highlights SSRI Antidepressant Risks

Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit

April 27, 2012 – Research published in this week’s online edition of the journal Frontiers in Evolutionary Psychology has called into question the safety and efficacy of a popular line of antidepressant medications. The study concludes that the risks involved with taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs outweigh any potential benefits, and that the medications do more harm than good. Antidepressants belonging to the SSRI class include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Symbyax, and Effexor.

Free Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with birth defects after being exposed to an antidepressant in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the antidepressant and we can help.

What’s the Problem with SSRI Antidepressants?

April 28, 2012 – The new research involved data from a number of different studies, and found a slew of serious side effects that had been linked to SSRIs, including:

  • depression relapse
  • brain neuron death
  • decreased fertility
  • tardive dyskinesia
  • cognitive impairment
  • dementia
  • bone fractures
  • gastrointestinal illness
  • bleeding problems
  • cardiovascular disease
  • stroke
  • seizures
  • respiratory arrest
  • suicidal behavior
  • death

In addition to this lengthy list of side effects in users, SSRIs have also been linked to the following birth defects in babies born to mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women are still unaware they are pregnant):

The new research looked at a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and found that 95% of published studies say SSRIs have a positive net benefit. However, when all the unpublished studies are taken into consideration, that figure drops sharply to 51%.

The study calls into question the fundamental premise behind SSRI antidepressants, suggesting the idea that depression comes from brain malfunction may be altogether wrong.

“An alternate view is that current diagnostic criteria do not accurately distinguish between true instances of disorder and normal, evolved emotional responses to stressors,” the researchers wrote in their report. “This latter view suggests that pharmacological disruption of depressive symptoms could negatively affect the ability to cope with or manage stressors.”

The study’s authors went on to suggest that SSRI use may actually prevent the patient from working out the underlying problems causing their depression. While the researchers were careful to point out that more in-depth studies on the subject are needed, they concluded that the risks associated with the drugs are simply not worth it.

“It is widely believed that antidepressant medications are both safe and effective; however, this belief was formed in the absence of adequate scientific verification,” they wrote. “The weight of current evidence suggests that, in general, antidepressants are neither safe nor effective; they appear to do more harm than good.”

Do You Have an Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in SSRI antidepressant lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defects cases in all 50 states.

Free Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with birth defects after being exposed to an antidepressant in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an antidepressant birth defects suit and we can help.

New Study Identifies SSRI Blood Pressure Risk

SSRI Lawsuit

The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants during pregnancy has been linked in a recent study to high blood pressure in certain users. The research indicates that SSRIs may increase the risk of hypertension beyond that what could be attributed to the depression and anxiety that likely drove the women to take the drugs in the first place. In addition to being linked to high blood pressure in users, SSRI antidepressants have been increasingly associated with a large number of severe heart, lung, and cranial birth defects.

Free SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with a serious birth defect after being exposed to an SSRI antidepressant medication in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the antidepressant and we can help.

What’s the problem?

March 23, 2012 – The new study, which was published this week in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, analyzed the Quebec Pregnancy Registry and identified over 1,200 women who were diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension who did not have the condition prior to becoming pregnant.

Researchers found that expecting mothers who took any form of antidepressant during pregnancy were at a 50% increased risk of hypertension, and whose who took SSRIs specifically were at a 60% increased risk of the condition. Women who took Paxil (generic: paroxetine) during pregnancy had more than an 80% increased risk of developing hypertension.

In addition to Paxil, other potentially-dangerous medications from the SSRI class include:

The Canadian study compared women taking antidepressants to women who did not, while attempting to adjust for other variables that could raise blood pressure, such as anxiety and depression.

SSRI Birth Defects

A number of earlier studies have focused on the side effects of SSRIs on users during pregnancy, but the bulk of the medical literature to date has concentrated on the risk of birth defects in babies exposed to the drugs in the womb. Congenital abnormalities linked to SSRI antidepressants include:

Do You Have an SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in SSRI antidepressant lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defect cases in all 50 states.

Free SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with any of the birth defects listed in this article after being exposed to an SSRI antidepressant in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an SSRI antidepressant birth defect suit and we can help.

BMJ Study: SSRI Use During Pregnancy Doubles Risk of PPHN

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn Lawsuit

According to the results of a new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), women who use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of giving birth to babies with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Signs and symptoms of SSRI-induced PPHN include fatigue, difficulty breathing, swelling of the hands or feet, and an increase in the pulmonic second heart sound. Antidepressants associated with PPHN include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Symbyax, Wellbutrin and Celexa.

Free Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was diagnosed with PPHN after being exposed to an antidepressant medication in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the antidepressant and we can help.

What’s the problem?

January 13, 2012 - In a comprehensive study of more than 1.6 million live births, SSRI antidepressant exposure during the second trimester of pregnancy was associated with a doubling of the risk of PPHN. This figure increases the absolute risk from 1.2 to 3 cases per 1,000 births in the United States each year.

“It is essential to plan the treatment and to weigh the risks of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn when treating women in late pregnancy with those of relapse of depression and neonatal abstinence syndrome if therapy is interrupted,” said Helle Kieler, MD, PhD, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

PPHN occurs when the infant’s pulmonary vascular resistance fails to decrease after being born, and the ductus arteriosus remains open to ensure circulation. Mortality rates for babies born with PPHN range from 5 to 10%. Antidepressants currently linked to PPHN include:

To explore the issue of whether SSRI use during late pregnancy is a risk factor for PPHN, Kieler and colleagues conducted research using data from national health registries in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The study included 1,618,255 singletons born after 33 weeks of gestation between 1996 and 2007.

In all, approximately 30,000 expecting mothers used an SSRI during pregnancy, including 17,053 (1.1%) before eight weeks of gestation and 11,014 (0.7%) after 20 weeks. The results indicated that SSRI use late in pregnancy increased the risk of PPHN after all other factors were ruled out.

Ironically, the use of SSRIs during early pregnancy has also been associated with an increased risk for PPHN. This risk has also been reported to be elevated in cases of maternal admission for a psychiatric disorder. According to the researchers, both findings require additional study.

A possible explanation of the relationship between antidepressants and PPHN may involve the accumulation of the drugs in the lungs, combined with the ability of serotonin to cause vasoconstriction and to mediate pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation.

Do You Have a Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new PPHN cases in all 50 states.

Free Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who has been diagnosed with PPHN after being exposed to an antidepressant medication in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a PPHN suit and we can help.

Remeron Lawsuit

Remeron Lawsuit

Please Note: Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is no longer accepting Rameron Lawsuits. If you feel that you may have a potential case, we urge you to contact another law firm adequately suited to handle your case.

Recent studies have linked Organon’s popular antidepressant medication Remeron (generic: mirtazapine) to a number of extremely serious side effects in users and birth defects in babies born to mothers who took the drug during pregnancy. The Federal Government’s Adverse Drugs Reactions Committee has received dozens of reports of blood and bone marrow abnormalities, liver problems, and suicidal ideations associated with Remeron. Additionally, antidepressants similar to Remeron have been linked to congenital birth defects including (but not limited to) atrial septal defects (ASDs), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

Remeron Overview

Manufactured and marketed by Netherlands-based Organon International, Remeron is a tetracyclic antidepressant that works by affecting chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression and other serious psychological disorders. Remeron is thought to increase the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, thereby helping elevate the patient’s mood. The drug comes as an orally-ingested tablet that is intended to be taken once a day at bedtime.

Remeron was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2001 for the treatment of mental depression, but has since been prescribed in an off-label capacity to treat the following conditions:

  • Panic / anxiety disorders
  • Bipolar depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Side Effects of Remeron

Some patients have experienced bouts of confusion, vomiting, rash, dizziness, dryness of the mouth, upset stomach, and drowsiness after taking Remeron. Other, more serious reactions associated with Remeron include:

  • Seizures
  • Chest pains
  • Fast heartbeats
  • Serious blood and bone marrow abnormalities
  • Agranulocytosis (disorder that causes damage to the bone marrow and a failure to produce white blood cells)
  • Liver problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Bouts of mania

Remeron & Suicide

Remeron and other similar antidepressants have long been suspected of contributing to suicidal and/or violent behaviors, especially in children. This point of view has recently been adopted by the FDA. In October 2003, the administration notified healthcare professionals of reports of suicidality (both suicidal ideation and suicide attempts) in clinical trials for Remeron and other similar antidepressant drugs in children and young adults with major depressive disorder. The administration completed a review of such reports for Remeron, Prozac (fluoxetine), Celexa (citalopram), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), and Effexor (venlafaxine) studied under the pediatric exclusivity provision, and concluded that additional tests and analysis are needed.

Then in December 2006, the FDA issued a press release warning the public that prescribing antidepressants to young adults is risky. The administration proposed updating the warning labels of all such medications to include data about suicidal ideations in patients between the ages of 18 and 24. The label change would expand the current warning that pertains only to children and adolescents treated with antidepressants, and contain a suggestion that patients of all ages be monitored carefully when undergoing treatment with the drugs.

Remeron & Death

In addition to these side effects, antidepressants like Remeron have also been associated with an increased risk of death in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). A recent study conducted by researchers at Duke University analyzed the survival rate of heart disease patients using antidepressants compared with those taking no such medications. After a median of 36 months after follow-up, more than 20% of the patients being treated with antidepressants had died, compared to just 12.5% of those not taking antidepressants. The study concluded that antidepressant use was an independent risk factor for mortality, increasing the risk by 62%.

Remeron Birth Defects

The following birth defects have been linked to antidepressants like Remeron when taken by expecting mothers during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant):

Remeron is currently classified by the FDA as a Pregnancy Category C drug, which means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus and there are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. With regard to birth defects, medical experts stress that Remeron should only be used during pregnancy when potential benefits outweigh the inherent risks.

FDA Warning: Maternal Use of SSRIs During Pregnancy May Lead to Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Lawsuit

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has issued a press release warning the public and medical communities that the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants by pregnant women may lead to a catastrophic birth defect known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Signs and symptoms of antidepressant-induced PPHN may include rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and signs of respiratory distress (i.e nostril flaring and grunting). SSRIs associated with PPHN include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, Wellbutrin, Symbyax and Effexor.

Free Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who has been diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) after being exposed to an antidepressant medication in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of the antidepressant and we can help.

What’s the problem?

December 14, 2011 – Since initially issuing a Public Health Advisory about the link between SSRIs and PPHN in July 2006, the FDA has continued to receive conflicting findings from new studies evaluating this potential risk. The administration has comprehensively reviewed the new reports and concluded that, based on the conflicting nature of the information, it is currently unable to make a conclusive determination as to the association between the maternal use of SSRIs and PPHN. Antidepressant drug labels will be updated to include this new information.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are FDA-approved prescription medications used to treat depression and other serious psychological conditions. SSRIs are marketed under the following brand names:

PPHN Overview

PPHN is a life-threatening congenital birth defect in which the newborn’s arteries to the lungs remain constricted after delivery, limiting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and oxygen into the bloodstream. Sadly, up to 20% of children with the condition will end up dying even if they receive treatment. Signs and symptoms of antidepressant-induced PPHN may include (but are not limited to):

  • progressive shortness of breath (especially with activity)
  • hyperventilation (breathing harder and faster)
  • fatigue (tiring easily)
  • progressive weakness
  • fainting spells
  • lightheadedness or dizziness
  • coughing up blood
  • progressive cyanosis (blue tinge to lips, hands, and feet)

Do You Have a Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant birth defect lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new PPHN cases in all 50 states.

Free Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who has been diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn after being exposed to an antidepressant in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a PPHN suit and we can help.

Anencephaly Lawsuit

Anencephaly Lawsuit

Recent studies have found that a number of popular antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft have been linked to a catastrophic birth defect known as anecephaly. This horrible condition is characterized by the absence of a large part of the newborn’s brain and skull, and usually causes death within a few days of being born. The birth defect lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP are currently investigating cases nationwide on behalf of families of children born with anencephaly after their mothers took antidepressants during pregnancy.

Free Anencephaly Lawsuit Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with anencephaly or other birth defect you feel may have been caused by an antidepressant medication, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

Anencephaly is one of the most common neural tube defects reported around the country, occurring in approximately one out of every 10,000 births. The defect manifests itself early in the development (typically within the first eight weeks) of an unborn child, and results when the upper part of the neural tube fails to close. Signs and symptoms of antidepressant-induced anencephaly include:

  • absence of bony covering over the back of the head
  • missing bones around the front and sides of the head
  • folding of the ears
  • cleft palate – a condition in which the roof of the child’s mouth doesn’t close completely, leaving an opening that can extend into the nasal cavity
  • congenital heart defects

Infants with anencephaly are born lacking a forebrain (the front part of the brain) and a cerebrum (the thinking and coordinating part of the brain). The remaining brain tissue is often exposed and not covered by bone or skin. Babies born with this defect are typically blind, deaf, unconscious, and unable to feel pain. Although some affected individuals may possess a rudimentary brain stem, the lack of a functioning cerebrum effectively eliminates the possibility that the child will ever gain consciousness.

Antidepressants Linked to Anencephaly

The following antidepressants have been linked to the development of anencephaly in infants born to mothers who took the drugs while pregnant (particularly during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware that they are pregnant):

Anencephaly is typically diagnosed during early pregnancy or at birth by a doctor’s physical examination. The infant’s head may appear flattened due to the abnormal brain development and missing bones of the skull. The following diagnostic tests may be performed during pregnancy to evaluate the potential for anencephaly:

  • alpha-fetoprotein – a substance produced by the fetus that is found in the amniotic fluid.
  • amniocentesis – a test performed to determine chromosomal and genetic disorders, as well as a number of birth defects.
  • ultrasound – a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the unborn baby’s internal workings
  • blood tests

Other Birth Defects Associated With Antidepressants

In addition to anencephaly, a number of other birth defects have been linked to the use of antidepressant medications including:

If you are currently taking any of the antidepressants listed in this article and are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician immediately about the risk of side effects. It is important that you not stop taking any medication without first talking to your doctor, and that you learn as much as you can about the potential dangers from different drugs when taken during pregnancy.

Having a baby born with anencephaly is a heart wrenching situation for any family member to have to go through. Current scientific research is limited in providing answers to what causes this and other life-threatening birth defects, and the sad fact of the matter is that these birth defects can change the life of a family forever. Worst of all is the knowledge that these birth defects may have been entirely preventable.

Do You Have an Anencephaly Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant-induced anencephaly lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new anencephaly cases in all 50 states.

Study Examines SSRI Use and Congenital Malformations

SSRI Antidepressant Autism Lawsuit

Research conducted in Denmark has examined the troubling association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants and congenital malformations in infants. An ever-increasing body of evidence seems to suggest a link between maternal SSRI use in early pregnancy and cardiac malformations. Antidepressants belonging to the controversial SSRI class include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft and Lexapro.

Free Antidepressant Birth Defects Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a congenital defect you feel may have been caused by an SSRI antidepressant, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

Set in Northern Denmark, a population-based study conducted by researchers at the University of Aarhus included 216,042 women who gave birth after the 20th week of gestation. The study aimed to compare the prevalence of malformation in infants born to mothers who took SSRIs during early pregnancy to women who took no such medications during their pregnancies. Drug use data were gathered from prescription databases, while data on birth defects were extracted from the National Registry of Patients.

Of the 2,062 women who took SSRI antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy, 105 (5.1%) infants were born with malformations, while the 213,712 women who took no antidepressants during pregnancy gave birth to 7,449 (3.5%) infants with congenital birth defects. Taking these numbers into consideration, SSRI use was associated with an increased risk of birth defects of (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1–1.6) and cardiac malformations (OR = 1.7; 95% CI: 1.1–2.5). The study also found an increased risk for septal defects specifically with Zoloft.

In conclusion, the study’s authors indicated that while a strong link between SSRIs and birth defects was not found, an association between antidepressant use in the first trimester of pregnancy and congenital malformations was likely: “We found little overall association between use of SSRIs during pregnancy and congenital malformations, but our findings suggest an association between maternal SSRI use in early pregnancy and cardiac malformations which could be causal.”

SSRI Background

SSRIs are among the most frequently prescribed antidepressant drugs used to treat pregnant women. Between 2% and 13% of all pregnant women are treated with antidepressants, and the use of SSRIs has nearly quadrupled in Western populations over the last 10 years. Medications belonging to the SSRI class include:

SSRIs have been found to readily cross the placenta from mother to child, leading to an increased risk for a variety of birth defects. Since specific SSRIs do not share identical chemical structures, they can have a wide range of teratologic effects. Paxil, for example, has been associated with a 1.7-fold increased risk of cardiac malformations in a recent meta-analysis. However, very few studies have assessed similar risks in other SSRIs, and those that have show inconsistent results.

SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects

Use of SSRIs during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of serious and potentially life-threatening health problems for babies including:

Do You have an Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug 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 antidepressant birth defects cases in all 50 states.

SSRI Antidepressant Drugs Linked to Autism Birth Defects

SSRI Antidepressant Autism Lawsuit

Please Note: Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is no longer accepting SSRI Antidepressant Autism Lawsuits. If you feel that you may have a potential case, we urge you to contact another law firm adequately suited to handle your case.

A new study conducted by researchers at Kaiser Permanente has found that taking SSRI antidepressant drugs during pregnancy may significantly increase the risk of giving birth to an autistic child. Autism is just the latest in a long list of severe birth defects that have recently been associated with SSRIs. Antidepressants in the SSRI class include Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac.

 

What’s the problem?

July 6, 2011 – The study, which was published in this week’s Archives of General Psychiatry, involved 298 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and a control group of 1,507 children. Researchers found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant while pregnant – especially during the first trimester – were twice as likely to give birth to a child with an ASD than mothers who did not.

Taking these figures into consideration, the results of the study seem to suggest a strong link between SSRIs and autism. The scientists who conducted the study are calling for more in-depth research, and are advising doctors and patients to carefully weigh the benefits vs. risks of taking antidepressants carefully before beginning a regimen. SSRI antidepressant drugs include:

Last year, a government funded study found that giving SSRIs to autistic children not only failed to provide any positive benefit, but also exposed them to all of the side effects of antidepressants. SSRIs are commonly prescribed ‘off-label’ to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety found in autistic children. Off-label use refers to the highly controversial practice of prescribing medicines for unapproved indications for which they have not been tested or evaluated.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

ASDs are a group of complex developmental disabilities that cause problems with social interaction and communication. The medical community refers to autism as a ‘spectrum’ disorder, a group of conditions with similar features. One person may have mild symptoms while another may display more severe characteristics, but they both have an ASD. Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes autistic disorder, Asperger syndrome, and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (atypical autism). ASDs are characterized by the following traits, running the gamut from mild to severe:

  • impaired development in social interaction, communication and behavior
  • does not respond to own name
  • avoids eye contact
  • does not engage in social play
  • unusual responses to sensory experiences
  • inability to hold a conversation
  • appear deaf at times
  • limited interests and activities
  • engage in repetitive movements
  • reduced sensitivity to pain
  • hypersensitive to sensory stimuli
  • throw tantrums
  • exhibit aggressive or destructive behaviors
  • short attention span

Each child will display these symptoms in varying degrees, but in a way that fits into the overall diagnosis of ASD. A recent study found that approximately 3.4 of every 1,000 children between the ages of three and 10 had autism, making ASDs more common than many better known disorders such as diabetes, spina bifida or Down syndrome.

Although there is no known cure for autism, there are ways to help minimize its symptoms and to maximize learning. Behavioral management therapy can help reinforce wanted behavior and reduce unwanted behavior, while speech language therapists can help autistic individuals improve their ability to communicate and interact with others. Occupational therapy can help people with ASDs find ways to adjust tasks to match their needs and abilities, and physical therapists can design activities and exercises to improve motor control and balance. Currently there are no medications that can cure autism or treat its symptoms.

Antidepressant Birth Defects

Although they have been found to cause fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants, SSRIs have been linked to a number of severe birth defects including: