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Using Anti-Depressants during Pregnancy Can Cause Birth Defects

Local products liability attorneys in Nashville, Knoxville and Hendersonville with the resources and skills to take on complex litigation against Big Pharma

When a woman is pregnant and suffering from depression, managing her condition can present a significant challenge to her doctor. Treating the depression with antidepressant medications, specifically SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) has the potential to cause harm to the unborn child, but leaving the mother’s depression untreated can also pose a danger to the woman and her child.

However, researchers have been studying the question of whether a causal link can be drawn between a mother’s use of SSRIs during pregnancy and the birth defects that might show up in her newborn. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a safety communication about the use of SSRIs during pregnancy, and the link between a rare heart and lung condition in newborns.

At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm, our experienced team of Tennessee products liability lawyers is ready to help people who have been hurt because of a medication error. From our offices in Nashville, Knoxville and Hendersonville, we offer comprehensive counsel and advice to clients all over the state. If your child was born with a defect linked to anti-depressants, we are here for you.

What evidence exists linking anti-depressants to birth defects?

A Kaiser Permanente study found that exposure to SSRIs in the womb in the first trimester increased the risk of an ASD (autism spectrum disorders) diagnosis 2.2-fold, and exposure in the second trimester increased the risk 3.8-fold.

A Danish study shows that the risk of a newborn being born with congenital heart defect is greater when the pregnant mother takes more than one type of SSRI during pregnancy. The study showed that the risk appears to be very small, and it must be balanced against the risk of allowing a pregnant mother’s depression to go untreated.

Other birth defects that have been associated with SSRI use in pregnant women include:

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Anencephaly
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Club feet
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

Some babies experience withdrawal symptoms as well. These symptoms usually go away over time, but they could cause your baby to experience distress during the discontinuation period.

Anti-depressant birth defects lawsuits

Women have been filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of certain SSRIs such as Zoloft because they continued to promote the use of the drug for pregnant women despite the link to birth defects. Adults who were born with birth defects and whose mothers took SSRIs when they were pregnant are also taking legal action to get compensation as the birth defects and health complications continue to plague them into adulthood.

The legal team at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm protects clients right here in Tennessee and from across the U.S. in their search for justice and for compensation when they have been injured by a dangerous drug.  We have years of experience fighting huge drug companies on behalf of our clients. We invite you to visit our offices in Nashville, Knoxville and Hendersonville to talk about your case with a skilled personal injury attorney from our firm.

Let us help you if using Zoloft or another anti-depressant led to your child’s birth injury

You took a drug prescribed by your doctor to help resolve a medical condition and the side effects caused more harm than the underlying illness. The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm can help you hold the responsible party accountable for that harm. We shoulder the legal burden on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call 615-425-2500 or fill out our contact form. We proudly represent clients throughout Hendersonville, Knoxville, Nashville and all of East Tennessee.