A Heart Murmur is any abnormal sound a doctor hears with a stethoscope. Most heart murmurs are harmless, but some are due to serious, life-threatening underlying diseases, usually involving the heart valves. Children born to mothers who took SSRIs, antidepressants, and other medications during pregnancy have a much higher risk of being born with a heart defect.
Do I Have a Heart Murmur 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 a Heart Murmur lawsuit.
What drugs have been linked to Heart Murmur?
Are you pregnant? Pregnant women, and women who are thinking about becoming pregnant, should talk to a doctor about the medications she is taking or thinking about taking. Some drugs can harm your unborn baby. Talk to a doctor about over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, dietary supplements, and prescription medications. Do not start or stop a medication without first consulting a physician.
SSRIs / Antidepressant Drugs: New research has found that Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and antidepressant medications double a baby’s risk of being born with a heart defect, when women take these drugs during pregnancy (especially Wellbutrin / bupropion).
SSRIs and antidepressants include the following prescription medications:
- Paxil, Seroxat (paroxetine)
- Zoloft, Lustral (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro, Cipralex (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin, Zyban (bupropion)
- Effexor (vanlafaxine)
Pain Medication / Cough Medicine: A publication in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that pregnant women who use some types of pain medication (or cough medicine) are more likely to have babies with cardiovascular birth defects.
These medications include:
- Some Cough Medication
A study found that women who have asthma and take asthma medications (sometimes known as “bronchodilators”) during pregnancy were more likely to have babies born with birth defects affecting the heart.
The CDC also made a warning concerning the use of hypertension medication during pregnancy, after a study linked its use to several congenital heart defects.
Heart Murmur Overview
A heart murmur is any abnormal sound made by blood being pumped through the heart. It is heard when a physician uses a stethoscope to listen to a patient’s heart. Sounds may include “whooshing,” “swishing,” or “clicking,” instead of the normal “lub-DUPP” sound of a heart.
The “lub-DUPP” sound is the heart valves closing. The first sound is caused by the mitral and tricuspid valves closing. The second sound is caused by the aortic and pulmonary valves closing. Abnormal sounds often occur when blood flows backward though the valves.
Most heart murmurs do not cause problems and do not require follow-up treatment. Sometimes, they are the first symptoms of very serious underlying defects. A physician will usually recommend an imaging test, such as a chest X-ray, echocardiogram, or MRI to get a better view of what is causing the abnormal sound.
A heart murmur isn’t a disease, though it may be a symptom of more serious issues with the person’s heart valves. Heart valve diseases include mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve or aortic stenosis, aortic sclerosis, mitral of aortic regurgitation, or other congenital heart defect. A heart murmur may also be caused by a hole in the heart, known as an atrial septal defect or a ventricular defect. These will require surgery to fix.
Signs & Symptoms of Heart Murmur
A common cause of heart murmurs in newborns is due to Patent Ductus Arteriosus. The ductus arteriosus is a hole in the heart that is present in all newborns at birth, but normally closes within a few minutes to hours after birth. If this hole does not close, it remains open (“patent”) and may require medicine or surgical intervention to close.
A heart murmur may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition that is causing blood to flow abnormally through the heart. The following symptoms are signs of a serious condition:
- Skin that appears blue, especially on your fingertips and lips
- Shortness of breath
- Enlarged liver
- Enlarged neck veins
- Poor appetite and failure to grow normally (in infants)
- Weight gain (in adults and children)
- Heavy sweating with minimal or no exertion
- Chest pain
Treatment & Prognosis
Most heart murmurs are minor, and they require no intervention.
In people with a moderate abnormal heart murmur, treatment may include taking a medication to help the heart squeeze harder, blood-thinners to prevent blood clots from forming in the heart, diuretics to remove excess fluid from the body, or medication to lower blood pressure.
In people with severe underlying problems causing a heart murmur, surgery may be necessary to correct the existing heart defect. Surgical repair may include patching a hole in the heart, fixing or replacing a heart valve, rebuilding a blood vessel, or widening a blood vessel that is too narrow.
Do I Have a Heart Murmur Lawsuit?
For a free consultation, please contact Collen A. Clark at The Clark Firm, LLP immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Heart Murmur lawsuit.
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 that 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 Heart Murmur birth defect lawsuit review.