Heart murmurs are a congenital birth defect characterized by turbulent blood in your heart that creates an abnormal sound with the opening and closing of valves. Most heart murmurs are harmless, however, they can be an indicator of more serious heart complications. In this article we will discuss the signs and symptoms, causes, risk factors, tests and diagnosis for heart murmurs.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with heart murmurs after taking an antidepressant, 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.
Heart Murmur Signs & Symptoms
The abnormal sounds produced by a heart murmur may be the only signs of the birth defect. However the following symptoms may indicate more severe, life-threatening problems:
- Bluish discoloration of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Enlarged liver
- Enlarged neck veins
- Poor appetite
- Weight gain
- Heavy sweating
- Chest pain
Causes of Heart Murmur
In children, abnormal murmurs are usually caused by congenital heart disease. In adults, abnormal murmurs are most often due to acquired heart valve problems. Other causes of abnormal heart murmurs include infections and conditions that damage the structures of the heart and are more common in older children or adults. Antidepressants may also be considered an underlying cause. They have been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects including heart murmurs in children born to mothers who took them while pregnant. The following is a list of antidepressants that have been linked to this type of birth defect:
- Zoloft (Sertraline)
- Celexa (Citalopram)
- Prozac (Fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (Escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Effexor (Venlafaxine)
Heart Murmur Risk Factors
Both innocent and abnormal heart murmurs are not associated with any risk factors. However, there are risk factors that may increase the chance of you having an underlying condition that can cause a heart murmur. These include:
- Family history: A family history of heart defects will increase the risk of your child developing a heart murmur.
- Antidepressant medications: Antidepressants have been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects including heart murmurs in children born to mothers who took them while pregnant.
- Illnesses during pregnancy: Many conditions during pregnancy, like infections or uncontrolled diabetes, may increase a baby’s risk of developing a heart murmur.
Heart Murmur Tests & Diagnosis
A test as simple as using a stethoscope is all that is needed to diagnose a heart murmur. When listening to the murmur, doctors can determine if it is innocent or abnormal by the following:
- How loud it is
- Where in the heart it is
- What pitch it is
- What affects the sound
- When and how long it occurs
For more information on diagnosing heart murmurs, please visit Mayoclinic.com.
Do I have a Heart Murmur 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 heart murmur lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with heart murmur after taking an antidepressant, 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.