SSRI antidepressants including the popular drugs Lexapro, Cipralex or Esertia (Generic: escitalopram) have been linked to variety of severe birth defects including Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), heart, lung, abdominal and cranial defects.
If you or a loved one have taken Lexapro, Cipralex or Esertia while pregnant and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Lexapro lawsuit and we can help.
Lexapro Lawsuit Update: Schmidt & Clark, LLP continues to be contacted by a large number of mothers, fathers and family members of babies born with birth defects directly related to the use of Lexapro during pregnancy. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and the birth defects that your child was born with are not your fault.
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to warn patients and doctors of the known risks in taking medications while pregnant. When drug manufacturers fail to warn consumers, they must be held accountable. The filing of a Lexapro lawsuit will never heal the emotional devastation of knowing that your child’s birth defect could have been prevented, however it can assist you and your family in the paying of medical bills, covering future healthcare costs and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you/we will not stand by and let a giant pharmaceutical company put their profits over the safety of American consumers and their families.
Michael E. Schmidt, Managing Partner of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, has stated, “Our law firm has represented thousands of victims in pharmaceutical side effect and recall lawsuit. However, as a father of four, this particular litigation [Lexapro birth defects] really strikes home. We intend to passionately represent the children and families affected by the manufacturer’s inability to warn the mothers of the potential for Lexapro induced birth defects when taking this drug while pregnant.”
FDA Video: SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
Below is an excellent video produced by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which warns patients and physicians of serious, life-threatening birth defects linked to SSRI antidepressants.
Read the Full Transcript: SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
Congenital Heart Defects
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned doctors and patients that exposure to SSRI’s such as Lexapro during pregnancy pose a serious risk to the fetus and has been linked to an increased risk of Congenital Heart Defects.
More specifically, the most common form of Lexapro induced heart birth defects observed by our firm has been either Atrial Septal Defects or Ventricular Septal Defects.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Recently, The New England Journal of Medicine released the results of a case-controlled study wherein SSRI’s including Lexapro were linked to an increased risk of an infant being born with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN).
Shortly after the aforementioned study was released, the FDA issued another Public Health Advisory warning that exposure to Lexapro during pregnancy posed a serious risk to the fetus and was linked to an increased risk of PPHN.
Abdominal & Cranial Birth Defects
According to information released from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants, SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro may cause two separate congenital abnormalities called Omphalocele and Craniosynostosis.
Omphalocele is a congenital (present at birth) abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord (umbilicus); the infant is born with a sac protruding through the defect which contains small intestine, liver, and large intestine.
Craniosynostosis is a congenital (present at birth) defect that causes one or more sutures on a baby’s head to close earlier than normal. Sutures are connections that separate each individual skull bones. The early closing of a suture leads to an abnormally shaped head.
Lexapro and Autism
In June 2011, a study conducted at Kaiser Permanante found that taking SSRIs like Lexapro may significantly increase the risk of giving birth to an autistic child. The study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy were twice as likely to give birth to a child with autism than mothers who did not. The results of the study seem to suggest a strong link between SSRIs and autism. The scientists who conducted the study are calling for more in-depth research on the matter.
Known Lexapro Side Effects
- Birth Defects
- Congenital Heart Defects, Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defects (hole in heart)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Abdominal Birth Defects / Omphalocele
- Cranial Birth Defects / Craniosynostosis
Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressants – What Type of Zoloft Lawsuits Are Being Filed?
Our lawyers are filing Lexapro lawsuits for injured individuals and families for the following life-threatening birth defects that have been linked to the use of Lexapro and other antidepressants:
- 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
Forest Labs Investigated for Deceptive Marketing
According to a document released by the U.S. Senate’s Special Committee on Aging in 2009, Forest Labs wasted no time in aggressively marketing Lexapro after it was approved. The document details the company’s plans to compensate physicians and psychiatrists for prescribing Lexapro. As a result of these findings, the Justice Department accused Forest of:
- Marketing Lexapro for unapproved uses
- Failing to disclose negative results from clinical trials
- Paying kickbacks to doctors who prescribed the drug
In 2010, the company’s subsidiary, Forest Pharmaceuticals, agreed to pay over $313 million to settle the charges.
Judge Dismisses Suit in Lexapro Marketing MDL
A lawsuit against Forest Pharmaceuticals has been thrown out, and another had a state law claim trimmed, in the ongoing multidistrict litigation (MDL) accusing the company of marketing Lexapro and Celexa to children, even though the antidepressants had not been approved for that purpose. On Dec. 14, 2014, U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton ruled that Allied Services Division Welfare Fund, New Mexico UFCW unions and Employers Health and Welfare Trust Fund knew about Forest’s allegedly illegal marketing of Lexapro and Celexa since at least 2009, and that their March 2014 lawsuit is invalid due to statute of limitations (SOL) concerns. Click here to learn more.
Antidepressant Exposure in the Womb may Influence Anxiety Later in Life: Study
A research team at UCLA studying early developmental exposure to Prozac and Lexapro has found that although the two drugs were thought to work the same, they do not cause the same long-term changes in anxiety behavior. Researchers studied the effects of the antidepressants in a mouse model that mimicked exposure during the 3rd trimester of human pregnancy. The mice that were exposed to Lexapro had permanent changes in serotonin neurotransmission and were less anxious as adults compared to mice exposed to Prozac, according to the study. Click here to learn more.
12 Lexapro Birth Defect Lawsuits Filed in West Virginia
June 25, 2015 – Twelve new lawsuits have been filed against Forest Pharmaceuticals in Cabell Circuit Court on behalf of children who were allegedly born with birth defects after their mothers took Lexapro and/or Celexa during pregnancy, according to the West Virginia Record. The complaints maintain that Lexapro and Celexa both contain the same active ingredient, making them essentially the same medication. Plaintiffs allege that Forest knew or should have known about the drugs’ potential to cause birth defects, and that the company aggressively marketed Lexapro and Celexa to women in their childbearing years, including to pregnant women. Click here to learn more.
Do I have a Lexapro Lawsuit?
The Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in Lexapro lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Lexapro birth defect lawsuits in all 50 states.
Our Lexapro lawyers have decades of experience and the resources you need to effectively hold the manufacturers of Lexapro responsible for their failure to warn expectant mothers of the risks in taking Lexapro while pregnant.
The initial steps in filing a Lexapro lawsuit are simple. First, it is important to understand that our law firm works on a contingency basis, which means that we do not charge for our legal services unless we file and successfully receive a settlement or verdict on your behalf. So, if you or a loved one has taken Lexapro, Cipralex or Esertia while pregnant and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you should contact us immediately for a free confidential evaluation of your potential lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Lexapro lawsuit and we can help.