Warning: If you are pregnant and taking an antidepressant, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
Numerous studies have found the possibility of serious side effects for children of pregnant women taking antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs include:
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
- Zofran (ondansetron)
One study linked Zoloft in particular with a developmental birth defect called omphalocele, which causes a child to be born with part of its intestines outside the abdominal wall. Another study linked Zoloft, along with all the SSRI antidepressant drugs, to three birth defects: omphalocele and 2 defects related to brain development, anecephaly, and craniosynostosis.
According to another study, SSRI use in early pregnancy – defined as 28 days before to 112 days after conception – doubled the risk of a particular kind of heart defect involving a piece of tissue that separates parts of the heart. Sertraline more than tripled the risk, while citalopram more than doubled it. Using more than one SSRI nearly quintupled the risk of the heart defect.
Other Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressants
Other birth defects linked to antidepressants may include:
- Valve Problems – malformed or stuck and won’t close
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Treatment Guidelines for Women During Pregnancy
Women who are pregnant or considering pregnancy should closely consider their treatment options for depression in light of the limited reproductive safety information available. Symptoms of depression and antidepressant use during pregnancy may lead to the serious problems stated above, as well as preterm delivery, low birth weight and birth defects. Weighing the best treatment should be approached individually with each patient.
Do I have an Antidepressant Pregnancy 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 cases in all 50 states.
Free Antidepressant Pregnancy Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has taken an antidepressant such as Zoloft while pregnant and given birth to a child with birth defects, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.