ANTIDEPRESSANT USE DURING PREGNANCY MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A LIFE-THREATENING CONGENITAL BIRTH DEFECT KNOWN AS TRUNCUS ARTERIOSUS (TA). LAWSUITS NOW BEING FILED NATIONWIDE.
What is truncus arteriosus (TA)?
TA is a rare congenital cardiovascular birth defect that occurs due to abnormal development of the fetal heart during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The condition is typically characterized by a single arterial trunk arising from the normally formed ventricles by means of a single semilunar valve. At its earliest stages, the heart begins as a hollow tube. Throughout the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the chambers, valves, and great arteries begin to develop. The aorta and pulmonary artery start as a single blood vessel, which eventually divides and becomes two separate arteries. TA occurs when the vessels fail to separate completely, leaving a connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery.
NEJM study on antidepressants & birth defects
In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published two research studies on the link between the use of antidepressants by the mother during pregnancy and the risk of the baby being born with severe heart birth defects. Both studies concluded that individual antidepressants, when taken during pregnancy, may increase the risk for specific birth defects like truncus arteriosus.
Which drugs have been linked to TA?
The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of truncus arteriosus in infants, babies, and children if their mothers took them during pregnancy:
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
The signs & symptoms of truncus arteriosus
A newborn with the condition typically begins to show symptoms in the first week of life. Their oxygen levels are often slightly lower than normal, resulting in a condition called cyanosis. Because of the excessive amount of blood flow to the lungs, congestive heart failure is also likely to develop shortly after birth. Signs and symptoms include:
- shortness of breath
- rapid breathing
- noisy breathing
- nasal flaring
Do I have a TA 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 drug birth defects lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new TA cases in all 50 states.