Prozac is the leading anti-depressant in the world and more than 54 million people worldwide have been prescribed this Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI). Unfortunately, while Prozac is widely used even among pregnant women, the drug can cause significant problems during fetal development. As a result, babies exposed to Prozac in the womb may be born with serious and potentially fatal birth defects.
If you or a loved one took SSRI medications and birth defects resulted, you may be able to pursue a claim for compensation against Prozac manufacturers. An experienced Boston birth defects lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can help you to take legal action to recover money for medical bills and costs; lost income; pain and suffering; emotional distress or wrongful death resulting from Prozac use during pregnancy.Prozac and Birth Defects
Prozac has been linked to many different birth defects including:
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn (PPHN). This serious condition occurs when the blood vessels in the lungs are constricted, resulting in pressure in the pulmonary artery. The FDA issued a warning in 2006 of the link between SSRIs and PPHN after a New England Journal of Medicine study revealed that babies were six times as likely to suffer PPHN, but in December of 2011 the FDA revised their opinion to indicate there is inconclusive evidence of a causal link between SSRIs and this condition. Despite conflicting studies, there is still the potential for serious complications and PPHN is fatal in 20 percent of cases even with treatment.
- Autism. A 2011 study in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests a potential link between SSRI use in the year prior to delivery and the development of an autism spectrum disorder in the infant.
- Septal defects. A 2011 study in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that the use of SSRIs could increase the risk of septal defects (holes in the walls of the heart).
- Other heart conditions including coarction of the aorta; hypoplastic left heart syndrome; transposition of the great arteries; Tetralogy of Fallot; and pulmonary stenosis.
Other potential birth defects that may result from Prozac use during pregnancy include a cleft lip or cleft palate; craniosynostosis; and club foot.Getting Legal Help
When the manufacturer of a drug releases its product onto the market, the drugmaker has an obligation to test the medication to ensure it is safe and must then warn patients of any potential dangers and complications associated with the drug. Unfortunately, those taking Prozac did not understand the risks of Prozac birth defects. Thus, many patients who used Prozac as directed gave birth to children with severe and potentially fatal birth defects.
When a drug causes harm when it is used as advertised and intended, those who are injured may pursue a claim for compensation. In this case, parents who lose their babies may pursue a wrongful death claim, while parents can also pursue an injury claim against Prozac manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company for the harm that the SSRI drug caused the baby to suffer during development.
Strict liability rules for defective drugs mean that parents don’t need to show Eli Lilly and Company was negligent in the design or production or Prozac, but instead simply need to prove that the drug was the direct cause of harm. A Boston birth defects lawyer at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman can provide legal representation to injured families affected by damage to a baby caused by SSRIs. Give us a call or contact us online today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn how we can help with your claim.