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What You Need To Know About Anti-Depressants and Birth Defects

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What You Need To Know About Anti-Depressants and Birth Defects
04.20.2016 News

Anti-depressants help millions of Americans relieve symptoms of depression; however, recent studies have shown that anti-depressants can cause devastating birth injuries when taken during pregnancy. While anti-depressants can pose serious threats to unborn babies, stopping anti-depressant use could also pose serious risks to the mother and her child. 

How Does Pregnancy Affect Depression

During pregnancy, the body releases a variety of hormones, some of which can increase the symptoms of depression. Women who suffer from depression during pregnancy might not seek the best prenatal care, eat healthy foods, or take prenatal vitamins that could help ensure the health of their baby. Women who experience depression during pregnancy are also more likely to have postpartum depression and difficulty bonding with their child.

What Types of Anti-Depressants Can Cause Birth Defects?

One of the most widely prescribed classes of anti-depressants, called Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), are very effective in treating depression but can cause a variety of birth defects. SSRIs are believed to increase levels of serotonin, a chemical found in the brain thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness. While these medications often do help with depression and other mental health struggles, in pregnant women SSRIs have been shown to pass through the placenta and impact the development of the fetus.

Types of Birth Defects Caused By Anti-Depressants

While there are many birth defects that can be caused by anti-depressants, the most common include heart defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension, cranial birth defects, cleft palate, congenital heart disease, spina bifida, and others. Different types of SSRIs like Celexa, Paxil, Prozac, and Lexapro can affect unborn babies differently and come with unique sets of risks. 

What has made anti-depressants so dangerous for pregnant women in the past is that many manufacturers failed to adequately warn expecting mothers of the risks. While many studies have proven the link between anti-depressants and birth defects, those analyses do little for those who have already suffered damages from pharmaceutical manufacturers’ failure to warn.

Blizzard & Nabers: Birth Defect Litigation Attorneys

If you took anti-depressants during pregnancy and your child suffered birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced birth defect litigation attorneys at Blizzard & Nabers have the extensive experience required to help you hold pharmaceutical companies responsible. Call us today for a free consultation.

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