Important Drug Alert: Women who use certain prescription medications during pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a birth defect that occurs when the left side of the heart does not form correctly in the womb, resulting in inefficient blood flow throughout the body.
What is Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome?
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a congenital birth defect that involves a combination of several abnormalities of the heart and great blood vessels. In HLHS, most of the structures on the left side of the heart are small because they fail to fully develop. The degree of underdevelopment differs from child to child, but the structures affected usually include the mitral valve, left ventricle, aortic valve, and aorta.
HLHS Linked to Antidepressants
Unfortunately, many antidepressants have been linked to cases of serious congenital heart defects like hypoplastic left heart syndrome. In most cases of HLHS, surgery is required when a child is an infant and then again, potentially multiple times, as the child grows to maturity. Children may be able to lead mostly normal and productive lives following constant medical attention.
Which medications may lead to the condition?
The following prescription medications have been associated with the development of hypoplastic left heart syndrome 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)
A newborn with HLHS will typically show telltale signs and symptoms soon after birth including:
- Poor suckling and feeding
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Cold extremities
- Enlarged liver
- Poor pulse
- Pounding heart
- Bluish (cyanosis) or poor skin color
Do I have an HLHS 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 birth defects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new HLHS cases in all 50 states.