Prescription antidepressant medications are developed to assist in the treatment of symptoms associated with chronic depression. However, the prolonged use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants may coincide with catastrophic circumstances. Children born to mothers who took any SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing a number birth defects such as autism or autism-spectrum disorders. Due to the severity of autism and related disorders, families may seek compensation for their suffering by filing an antidepressant autism lawsuit.
If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with autism after taking an antidepressant during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Antidepressant Autism Lawsuit Overview
An overwhelming number of antidepressants have flooded the U.S. market in recent years. Each of which claim to significantly decrease depressive tendencies in those suffering from chronic depression. Among the most popular of these medications that promise relief from bouts of depression are Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, Fluvoxamine,Symbyax, and Paroxetine.
Though each of the aforementioned medications are made up of unique active ingredients, they all reside in a class of drugs known in the healthcare community as SSRI antidepressants. As selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor’s, these antidepressants prevent the reuptake of serotonin in the nerves. As a result, higher concentrations of the chemical are permitted to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. Therefore, the increased amount of serotonin is able to balance chemicals in the brain and assist in alleviating many of the symptoms that have become synonymous with depression.
Unfortunately, the prolonged use of any SSRI antidepressants, like the ones above, may coincide with catastrophic birth defects. Significant evidence suggests that these birth defects may not justify the continued use of SSRI’s. More specifically, pregnant women who take them, may increase the risk of harming their child while still in utero. Children born to mothers who took any SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing a number of birth defects such as autism or autism-spectrum disorders. Due to the severity of autism and related disorders, families may seek compensation for their suffering by filing an antidepressant autism lawsuit.
SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
The following birth defects are currently under critical evaluation regarding potential SSRI antidepressant lawsuits:
- Autism-spectrum disorders
- Atrial Septal Defect and Ventricular Sepatal Defect
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn
- Valve Problems – malformed or stuck and won’t close
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve
- Transposition of the Great Arteries / Vessels
- Tetralogy of the Fallot
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Club Foot
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Do to the severity of these birth defects, families may seek compensation for their pain and suffering by filing an SSRI antidepressant lawsuit.
Antidepressant Autism-Spectrum Disorder
Autism is a significant developmental disability with the reputation as a catalyst for social interaction and communication problems. Symptoms typically develop at a very early age and can inhibit cognitive skills that develop from infancy to adulthood. However, recent evidence suggests that SSRI antidepressants may be responsible for children developing autism while still in utero. Pregnant women taking these medications may increase the risk of their child developing autism.
Autism affects each and every individual diagnosed with it in a different way. Health care providers think of autism as a group of disorders with similar features, otherwise known as a “spectrum” disorder. While one person may show significant signs of autism development, another may show nothing at all.
Currently, the autism spectrum disorder category includes:
- Autistic disorder (also called “classic” autism)
- Asperger syndrome
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (or atypical autism)
Due to the severity of autism and related disorders, families may seek compensation for their suffering by filing an antidepressant autism lawsuit.
Signs and Symptoms of Autism
The main signs and symptoms of autism involve problems in the following areas:
- Communication – both verbal (spoken) and non-verbal (unspoken, such as pointing, eye contact, and smiling)
- Social – such as sharing emotions, understanding how others think and feel, and holding a conversation
- Routines or repetitive behaviors (also called stereotyped behaviors) – such as repeating words or actions, obsessively following routines or schedules, and playing in repetitive ways
Due to the severity of these symptoms, families may seek compensation for their suffering by filing an antidepressant autism lawsuit.
Antidepressant Autism Study
The abundance of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) has grown exponentially in recent years. The use of SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Lexapro, Prozac, Fluvoxamine, Symbyax, and Paroxetine during pregnancy indicates an increase in past years, prompting concerns that prenatal exposure may contribute to increased risk of ASD. The following July 4, 2011 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry illustrates the dangers associated with pregnant women taking SSRI antidepressants:
The study involved a total of 298 children with ASD and 1507 randomly selected control children drawn from the membership of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California.
Researchers discovered that prenatal exposure to antidepressant medications was reported for 20 case children (6.7%) and 50 control children (3.3%). In adjusted logistic regression models, they found a 2-fold increased risk of ASD associated with treatment with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors by the mother during the year before delivery (adjusted odds ratio, 2.2 [95% confidence interval, 1.2-4.3]), with the strongest effect associated with treatment during the first trimester (adjusted odds ratio, 3.8 [95% confidence interval, 1.8-7.8]).
Although the number of children exposed prenatally to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in this population was low, results suggest that exposure, especially during the first trimester, may modestly increase the risk of ASD. Due to the severity of autism and related disorders, families may seek compensation for their suffering by filing an antidepressant autism lawsuit.
Do I Have an Antidepressant Autism Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in antidepressant autism lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with autism after taking an antidepressant during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.