Multiple studies have found that the children of mothers who take antidepressants while pregnant are at an increased risk of a severe birth defect known as transposition of the great vessels (TGV). Sadly, taking antidepressants during pregnancy may also be linked to a number of other serious heart defects in newborns.
What is TGV?
TGV is a cyanotic heart defect in which the two major vessels that carry blood away from the heart — the aorta and the pulmonary artery — are switched and in the opposite position. In someone suffering from this condition, blood goes to the lungs, picks up oxygen, and then goes right back to the lungs without ever going to the body. Inversely, blood from the body returns to the heart and goes back to the body without ever picking up oxygen in the lungs. This results in decreased oxygen in the blood that is pumped from the heart to the rest of the body, which leads to symptoms including blueness of the skin, clubbing of the fingers or toes, poor feeding, and / or shortness of breath.
British Medical Journal Study on Antidepressant Birth Defects
According to a recent British Medical Journal study, pregnant women should weigh their emotional health against the risks of taking antidepressants during pregnancy, which could lead to life-threatening birth defects. The most significant problems uncovered by the study were congenital heart defects like TGV, in which babies are born with problems in the upper or lower chambers of their hearts.
Dangerous Drugs Linked to TGV
The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of TGV 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)
In most cases, the affected individual’s symptoms will improve after surgery to correct the defect. Sadly, if corrective surgery is not performed, the life expectancy is only a few months. Most infants who undergo arterial switch do not have symptoms after surgery and live normal lives.
Do I have a TGV birth defects 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 drug birth defects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new TGV cases in all 50 states.