Every year, twice as many women are diagnosed with depression than men. The constant fluctuation of a woman’s hormone levels during menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, and lactation make them more susceptible to mood swings and other symptoms of depression.
Many of these women use antidepressants classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to keep their depression under control. Some of the more popular SSRIs include:
Unfortunately, when taken by pregnant women, SSRI medication can drastically increase the risk of birth defects in children. Problems with the development of a child’s skull, heart, and abdomen have all been linked to the use of SSRIs by pregnant women.
A recent study conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that a rare condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) is significantly increased by SSRI use. PPHN is a serious respiratory disorder where the lungs of a newborn baby cannot adapt to breathing outside of the mother’s womb. As a result, oxygen levels are dangerously reduced in an infant’s bloodstream, causing 10-20% of all newborn children with PPHN to die.
Despite warnings and mandates issued by the FDA, no recall has been announced for any of the major SSRI brands. Many pregnant women remain completely unaware of the dangerous risks associated with using these antidepressants.
If your child has suffered a birth defect that may have been linked to your use of SSRI antidepressants, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact an experienced pharmaceutical injury attorney in your area today using the Personal Injury Lawyer Directory.