SSRI antidepressants including the popular drugs Prozac, Fontex, Seromex, Seronil, Sarafem or Fluctin (Generic: fluoxetine) have been linked to variety of severe birth defects including Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), heart, lung, abdominal and cranial defects.
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 Prozac 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 Prozac 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 Prozac 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 Prozac 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 Prozac 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.
Prozac and Autism
Additionally, Prozac and other SSRIs have been linked to autism in children born to mothers who took the drugs while pregnant. A June 2011 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant while pregnant – especially during the first trimester – were twice as likely to give birth to a child with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) than mothers who did not. In 2010, a government funded study found that giving SSRIs to autistic children not only failed to provide any positive benefit, but also exposed them to all of the side effects of antidepressants. SSRIs are commonly prescribed ‘off-label’ to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety found in autistic children.
Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressants – What Type of Prozac Lawsuits Are Being Filed?
Our lawyers are filing Prozac lawsuits for injured individuals and families for the following life-threatening birth defects that have been linked to the use of Prozac 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
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.