Women taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft, during pregnancy are at risk of delivering children with birth defects. Because the manufacturer of these antidepressants may have failed to properly warn patients and doctors about the possible risk of SSRI birth defects, women who took one of these antidepressants during pregnancy were more likely to deliver a child with SSRI birth defects.
Antidepressant Birth Defects
Since September 2005, reports have alleged that women taking certain antidepressants during pregnancy may be at risk for delivering newborns with SSRI birth defects. In one Danish study, women who took certain antidepressants during pregnancy had a 60% higher chance of delivering children with SSRI heart defects, compared to those who did not take SSRIs while pregnant. SSRI birth defects are not limited to cardiac problems, however, as skull and abdominal problems have also been reported. The following are among the potential SSRI birth defects:
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Spina Bifida
- Club Foot
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Heart Murmurs
Are there Treatments for Babies with SSRI Birth Defects?
SSRI birth defects may require treatment with one or more surgeries, placing a heavy financial burden on the child’s parents. In cases of SSRI heart defects, the child may need an initial surgery during their first three years of life, and multiple procedures as they age. While some SSRI birth defects are treatable when diagnosed early, in other cases, the only viable option may involve a heart transplant or other serious procedure.
For more information about women who took SSRIs during pregnancy, please visit the following pages for specific information on these types of antidepressants: