Lexapro Lawyer

A Lexapro Lawyer Can Help Families Struggling with PPHN Birth Defects

Many women who took antidepressant drugs like Lexapro (also sold as Cipralex, Seroplex, Lexamil, and Lexam) did so to ease depression symptoms and mood disorders during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some were shocked and devastated when they learned their newborn babies had serious birth defects like life-threatening persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN) and septal heart defects.

Recent studies have linked Lexapro birth defects like these with taking certain types of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Because of new scientific data supporting the connection and a recent FDA health advisory, a Lexapro lawyer now stands a good chance of winning compensation for plaintiffs in a Lexapro lawsuit.

What are SSRIs?

SSRIs are a group of antidepressants that work by increasing the level of “feel-good” serotonin in the brain, which helps improve mood, ease depression, and regulate sleep and appetite. SSRIs work not by producing more serotonin, but by inhibiting its reuptake, so that gradually there is more serotonin available. Several newer studies have linked these types of antidepressants to serious birth defects.

Lexapro Birth Defects: Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of a Newborn (PPHN)

In 2006, researchers reported that babies born to mothers who had taken SSRI antidepressants like Lexapro were six times more likely to suffer PPHN. So serious was this finding that the FDA released a public health advisory warning patients and healthcare providers about the potential dangers, and requiring all SSRI medications to update their warning labels. The FDA also classified Lexapro as a “Category C” medication, which means it may cause harm to a human fetus.

PPHN occurs when blood pressure remains high in a baby’s lungs, making it difficult for him or her to breathe correctly. When the baby is born, the blood vessels fail to dilate, blood pressure in the arteries that feed the lungs remains high, and the baby is unable to adequately oxygenate his or her blood. Though often treatable with oxygen, a ventilator, or nitric oxide, PPHN can lead to heart failure, shock, kidney failure, organ damage, seizures, and even death.

Lexapro Heart Defects

A 2005 Danish study showed that women taking SSRIs early in pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with heart defects. A later study published in the British Medical Journal in 2009 showed that mothers prescribed SSRIs in early pregnancy had a greater risk of giving birth to babies with septal heart defects. Denmark researchers supported these findings in 2010 when their results suggested a link between SSRI use in early pregnancy and cardiac malformations. An American study in 2010 also linked SSRIs like Lexapro to an increased risk of septal heart defects (American Journal of Nursing).

Other Lexapro Birth Defects: Abdominal Defect and Cranial Defect

In a case-controlled study based on data collected from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant were more likely to have newborns with other types of birth defects. Relative risk of craniosynostosis (a cranial defect in the skull) was 1.8, and relative risk of omphalocele (an abdominal defect) was 3.0.

A Lexapro Lawyer May be Able to Help

If your child was born with a birth defect, particularly PPHN or a septal heart defect, and you took Lexapro during the first trimester, a Lexapro lawyer can help determine the potential for your claim in a Lexapro lawsuit.  Contact Chaffin Luhana LLP today for a confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.