A member of the selective seratonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant group of medications, Celexa has been linked with serious side effects for both pregnant mothers and newborn infants. While this medication is typically prescribed for depression, it was also approved for treating anxiety disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorders, and other mental strains for the mother.
Forest Laboratories, the manufacturer of Celexa, failed to warn patients and physicians about the potential side effects of the drug, leading to many cases in which mothers and babies were put at risk without knowing the hazards of the medication.
The FDA released a safety warning to physicians and patients, warning that no more than 40 mg of Celexa should be taken in one day, as higher doses can affect the electrical activity in the heart and cause a fatal change in heart rhythm. Aside from this life-threatening effect, the drug can also cause rigid muscles, unsteadiness, agitation, blurred vision, and fever.
Birth defects caused by Celexa can include:
- Heart defects
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Cranial birth defects
In addition to failing to warn pregnant women of potential birth defect risks, the U.S. Department of Justice brought charges against Forest Pharmaceuticals for marketing the drug to children, contrary to its intended use. The company paid over $313 million dollars as part of a settlement, but victims of the drug’s side effects who were not warned of the risks may still hold the company liable in court.
If your baby was born with birth defects after the mother was prescribed the drug while pregnant, you may be able to seek compensation. The trial attorneys at Blizzard Law PLLC have pursued a number of birth defect cases related to SSRI’s, including Celexa, and they have the experience to confidently guide you through holding the responsible parties liable for the damages that you and your family have suffered.