Popular Anxiety Drug Xanax Linked to Birth Defects
Xanax is a popular brand-name version of alprazolam, a benzodiazepine that is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. It is also used to treat a range of other medical problems, including seizures, sleeplessness, and withdrawal from alcohol.
Benzodiazepines like Xanax work by depressing the central nervous system. The effects range from mild impairment when performing tasks to hypnosis. Unfortunately, Xanax has been found to increase the risk of mothers having babies with Xanax birth defects.
Xanax Causes Birth Defects
Birth defects associated with taking Xanax while pregnant include “floppy baby” syndrome. Babies with “floppy baby” syndrome, or hypotonia, are abnormally limp and can easily be dropped.
Xanax is also associated with neonatal depression and withdrawal, as the drug can be passed on to babies who nurse. Babies with neonatal depression have a breathing rate that is too low, and they often die within 24 hours of birth. Babies born to mothers who took Xanax while pregnant or while nursing can also suffer withdrawal from the drug, becoming lethargic and losing weight.
FDA Places Xanax in Category D
Xanax is rated a Category D drug by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, which means it is known to cause birth defects in babies born to women who take the drug while they are pregnant. Category D drugs should only be taken if the drug is needed for survival purposes, and Xanax is generally not regarded as one of the drugs.
Some medical providers, however, may view the benefits of taking Xanax as outweighing the risk to an unborn baby. Pregnant women or women who might become pregnant are not always told about the risk, which is especially pronounced in the first trimester of pregnancy. Women are advised by the FDA to consult with their physicians if they take Xanax, and to discuss any possibility of pregnancy.
Xanax Lawsuits Compensate Victims
Lawyers are pursuing cases against the manufacturers of Xanax and other benzodiazepines for birth defects. Xanax lawsuits range from product liability and negligence to personal injury causes of action.
If you or a loved one took Xanax or other benzodiazepines during pregnancy and gave birth to a baby with birth defects, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s Xanax lawyers at 1-888-480-1123 immediately for a free and confidential case review. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.