SSRIWhat Are SSRI Birth Defects?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, are anti-depressant drugs that require a prescription. They work by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin by inhibiting its reuptake. It is often prescribed to treat depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, eating disorders, and even for stroke recoveries. However, when the drugs are taken during pregnancy, they have been linked to a number of birth defects.

Which Pills are SSRIs?

Millions of prescriptions for these types of drugs are given nationally and worldwide. In the United States, the drugs include:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

With tens of millions of Americans taking them on a regular basis, millions of pregnant women could be exposed to the dangerous side effects of these drugs.

Conditions Associated With SSRI Birth Defects

There are many diseases, conditions, and birth defects associated with SSRIs, including:

  • Anal and Esophagal Atresia
  • Anencephaly and craniosynostosis, or the malformation of the brain and skull
  • Anencephaly (fatal neural tube defect)
  • Congenital heart defects, atrial and ventricular septal defects, which are holes between the heart’s two main pumping chambers
  • Cleft palate
  • Clubfoot
  • Diaphragmatic Hernia
  • Gastroschisis (abdominal wall defect)
  • Heart murmur
  • Hypoplastic Left/Right Heart Syndromes
  • Malformed or blocked heart valves that will not close
  • Omphalocele (abdominal wall defect)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Spina Bifida
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries

SSRI Birth Defects Statistics

Given that an estimated 13% of pregnant women take antidepressants, it is important to know everything about SSRI birth defect statistics:

  • The greatest risk is for women who take more than one SSRI or who switch SSRIs early during pregnancy.
  • Babies born to women who had filled prescriptions for more than one SSRI had a fourfold increase in septal heart defects.
  • In 2010, up to almost 7,000 babies conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF) may have been exposed to an antidepressant.

SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuits

If you took antidepressants during pregnancy and your baby was born with any kind of birth defect, it is important to have an experienced attorney evaluate your case and determine if you have cause to file a lawsuit. Headquartered in Missouri, The Potts Law Firm also has offices in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Texas, and handles cases across the country. We provide free initial consultations to victims of birth injuries as the result of an SSRI.