A new study has found that women who take SSRI antidepressant medications during the second half of pregnancy may be twice as likely to have a baby with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), a serious condition that occurs when a baby is born. If you have taken an antidepressant medication during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation and a lawyer in Texas at The Clark Firm, LLP can help.
Do I Have an Antidepressant Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, antidepressant, or other medication during pregnancy, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an SSRI lawsuit.
The study published in the British Medical Journal examined data from more than 1.6 million women who had babies. When mothers took an SSRI antidepressant in the second half of pregnancy, the rate of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) more than doubled. In real numbers, this translates from 1.2 cases of PPHN per 1,000 live births to 3 cases per 1,000 live births.
In the study, around 30,000 women chose to use an SSRI antidepressant medication during pregnancy. Of these women, 17,053 used the medication during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. 11,014 chose to use the medication after the 20th week of pregnancy.
The researchers found that women who used an SSRI in the second half of pregnancy were more likely to have a baby with PPHN, and was consistent for all types of SSRI medications.
The researchers hypothesized that one cause of the increased risk of PPHN may be that these medications contain serotonin, which is known to cause constriction of blood vessels when there is too much in the body. It can also cause problems with the muscles the blood vessels. When a mother takes an SSRI, serotonin may build up in the lungs of her unborn baby. Though the exact mechanism is not well understood, this may contribute somehow to the increased chance of PPHN.
Though this new information does not prove that the medications cause PPHN, they suggest that there may be a link, and pregnant women should carefully consider this information when they are deciding what medication is necessary to take during pregnancy. Depression itself is a serious illness, and women must weight the risks of untreated depression versus a possible chance of PPHN.
Antidepressants Linked to Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
“Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors,” also known as SSRIs, include the following medications:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
What is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)?
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) is a condition that can occur when a baby is born. Before a baby is born, it receives oxygenated blood from its mother, and it does not have to breathe. In fact, the baby’s circulation system bypasses the lungs altogether by flowing through a hole in the heart that closes shortly after birth.
In a normal baby, immediately before birth, the pressure in the baby’s lungs drops dramatically, and fresh blood flows into the lungs. When the baby takes its first breath, the oxygen reaches this blood, and the baby begins to provide oxygen to its bloodstream independently.
When a baby has PPHN, however, the pressure in the lungs remains high. Very little blood flows into the lungs. When the baby takes a breath, the oxygen reaches only a small amount of blood, and the baby is not able to supply enough oxygen to its body. In severe cases, this can cause the baby to be severely oxygen deprived, which can impact the child’s brain and other organs.
Do I have an Antidepressant PPHN Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free SSRI antidepressant PPHN lawsuit review.