Attention Mothers: Women who took antidepressants while pregnant and whose babies were born with a congenital heart condition known as Ebstein’s anomaly could be eligible to file a birth defects lawsuit.
What is Ebstein’s Anomaly?
Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare but life-threatening heart birth defect that occurs when the tricuspid valve - which divides the two chambers of the right side of the heart - does not form correctly. Normally, the tricuspid valve separates the right atria and right ventricle. In Ebstein’s anomaly, however, the valve forms too far down in the ventricle which makes it smaller and weaker than normal. Often there is also a connection between the left and right atria. The tricuspid valve usually has three parts that move freely. In Ebstein’s anomaly, one or two parts of the valve get stuck to the walls of the heart and don’t move correctly, so blood can leak back in the wrong direction.
Antidepressants linked to Ebstein’s Anomaly
Ebstein’s anomaly is typically caused by genetic or environmental factors, such as drug exposure during pregnancy. Unfortunately, studies show that taking antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a child with a cardiac birth defect like Ebstein’s anomaly. This congenital defect can be treated with catheters (tubes) or surgeons may replace faulty valves with man-made alternatives.
Which drugs have been connected to this birth defect?
The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of Ebstein’s anomaly 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)
- Zofran (ondansetron)
Ebstein’s Anomaly: Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of Ebstein’s anomaly are typically apparent shortly after birth; However, in some cases they aren't noted until later in childhood. This is due to a wide disparity in the severity of this deformity. Common symptoms include (but are not limited to):
- Blue color of the skin, lips and nailbeds. (cyanosis)
- Heart murmur or extra heart sounds
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Fast breathing during rest or exercise
- Cough and congestion in the lungs
- Shortness of breath or labored breathing
For more information about this rare but life-threatening birth defect, please visit the Ebstein’s Anomaly Foundation
Do I have an Ebstein’s Anomaly 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 Ebstein’s Anomaly cases in all 50 states.