Women who use certain prescription medications during early pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to a baby suffering from ventricular septal defects of the heart. Congenital heart defects affect nearly 40,000 babies each year nationwide, and one of the primary known causes of birth defects is ingestion of antidepressant drugs during pregnancy.
What is a Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)?
In the human heart, a wall or septum divides the organ’s pumping chambers (ventricles). In some developing hearts, the septum does not completely divide the two ventricles. A hole in the septum is classified as a ventricular septal defect (also commonly referred to as a ‘hole in the heart’).
Antidepressant Use Linked to VSD
Unfortunately, recent studies indicate that antidepressant use may cause cardiovascular conditions like ventricular septal defects in babies born to mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy. The FDA has alerted pregnant women who take antidepressants in their first trimester that their babies’ risk of being born with holes in the heart is doubled. Most of the heart defects reported in these studies were atrial and ventricular septal defects.
What Medications have been linked to VSDs?
- Paxil (Paroxetine)
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (Bupropion)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
- Zofran (ondansetron)
- Zofran (ondansetron)
Treatment for VSD
Children who have major ventricular septal defects usually need surgery to close the hole in their heart. If your baby has a VSD that requires surgical repair, the procedure will likely be scheduled in your baby’s first year of life. Surgical treatment involves plugging or patching the opening between the ventricles. To learn more about ventricular septal defects, please visit the Mayo Clinic website for more important information.
Do I have an Antidepressant VSD 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 VSD cases in all 50 states.