Lexapro Birth Defects

Lexapro Associated with PPHN, Other Birth Defects

Lexapro and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat depression are being increasingly associated with birth defects, from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) to heart defects and defects of other major organs. SSRIs are a class of drugs that work on the chemistry of the brain to control the flow of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation.

PPHN: A Serious Birth Defect

In a baby born with PPHN, the arteries in the lungs are severely restricted, and blood pressure in the heart’s pulmonary artery, which feeds the lungs, rises to dangerous levels. This results in lower oxygen levels in the blood and stress on the baby’s other major organs including the brain, liver and kidneys.

PPHN is diagnosed after birth by a chest x-ray or ultrasound test. Babies born with PPHN are in serious danger and are usually treated in the neonatal ICU with oxygen tubes and even artificial heart/lung machines.

Even with treatment, heart failure, brain hemorrhage, kidney failure, seizures, damage to other organs, and even death is possible. Lasting damage can include breathing problems, loss of hearing, developmental disorders, and seizures.

SSRIs Associated with a Range of Lexapro Birth Defects

In addition to PPHN, abdominal defects, cranial defects, and heart defects are also associated with taking Lexapro during pregnancy. Numerous studies have shown that women who take an SSRI like Lexapro have a higher risk of giving birth to a baby with birth defects.

One study showed that fetuses that were exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy were 60 percent more likely to develop congenital heart defects. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned that antidepressant drugs can cause birth defects, citing a study that said women who take an SSRI in their second trimester are six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN. Another study found a similar result, with moms who took an SSRI in the third trimester.

A Lexapro Lawsuit May Compensate Victims

Lexapro lawyers are pursuing product liability and personal injury cases against the manufacturers of Lexapro and other SSRIs for birth defects such as PPHN.

If you or a loved one took Lexapro or another SSRI during pregnancy and gave birth to a baby with Lexapro birth defects, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s Lexapro lawyers at 1-888-480-1123 for a free and confidential case review today. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.