Did you know that lawsuits have been filed around the country on behalf of children suffering from heart valve disease that may have resulted from the use of antidepressant drugs by their mothers during pregnancy? If your baby was born with heart valve disease or other serious birth defect and you used an antidepressant drug while pregnant, you may be entitled to seek compensation through a lawsuit.
What is Heart Valve Disease?
Congenital heart valve disease occurs when the heart valves do not work the way they should. The condition typically involves pulmonary or aortic valves that don't form properly. These valves may not have enough tissue flaps, they may be the wrong size or shape, or they may lack an opening through which blood can flow properly.
Antidepressants linked to Heart Valve Disease
Sadly, a large number of antidepressant medications have recently been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects including heart valve disease. These types of defects typically range in severity from those that are minor and may resolve without treatment to those that cause serious symptoms and may need to be repaired surgically. Physicians who are caring for women taking antidepressants should alert them to the potential risk to the fetus if they plan to become pregnant or are currently in their first trimester of pregnancy.
Which antidepressants have been implicated?
The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of heart valve disease 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)
How is Heart Valve Disease diagnosed?
Your child’s pediatrician can diagnose heart valve disease by recognizing symptoms, performing a physical exam, and giving your child other tests. During a physical exam, the doctor will listen to your baby’s heart to hear the sounds it makes as the valves open and close. A murmur is a swishing sound made by blood flowing through a stenotic or leaky valve. The doctor will also listen to your baby’s lungs to hear if he or she is retaining fluid in the lungs, which shows the heart is not able to pump as well as it should. After the physical exams, the doctor may order additional diagnostic tests.
Birth defects from antidepressant use? You are not alone.
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 heart valve disease cases in all 50 states.