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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant drug. They work by increasing the level of serotonin in the brain and include some of the most widely prescribed antidepressants. SSRIs are prescribed for depression, anxiety disorders, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, chronic pain, and posttraumatic stress disorder. So why would anyone be forced to consider filing an antidepressant lawsuit?
Though SSRIs have helped countless people overcome a number of mental problems, these drugs have been linked to causing birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Specifically, the SSRI drugs Celexa, Effexor, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft are linked to an increased risk of heart defects, spina bifida, club foot, and a number of other birth defects in newborns whose mothers took these drugs during pregnancy.
The FDA has a warning on their website concerning SSRI antidepressants. Citing a study from 2006, the FDA points out that SSRIs can increase the risk of a rare heart and lung condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). The FDA explains that “PPHN occurs when a newborn baby does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. Newborns with PPHN may require intensive care support including a mechanical ventilator to increase their oxygen level. If severe, PPHN can result in multiple organ damage, including brain damage, and even death.”
The FDA recommends that any woman who is pregnant, or plans on becoming pregnant, talk to their healthcare professional if they are depressed or are taking an SSRI drug. Most drugs in the SSRI category have been given a “C” grade by the FDA. This means that they have been known to harm animals taking them in large doses.
Lawsuits have been filed all over the country on behalf of woman who took SRRI antidepressants during pregnancy and saw their babies suffer from adverse side effects. Coordinated proceedings, such as Multi District Litigations, have given these women a way to fight the drug manufacturers on an even playing field.
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