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CDC Study: Some Antidepressants Linked To Birth Defects

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CDC Study: Some Antidepressants Linked To Birth Defects

In some cases, Paxil and Prozac doubled or tripled the risk of certain birth defects.

This article discusses a comprehensive study linking Paxil and Prozac to an increased risk of birth defects.

Whether antidepressants cause an increased risk of birth defects is a debate that has been around for years. Much of the research on associations between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and pregnancy is mixed. In 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration published an advisory warning regarding the effects of SSRIs for pregnant women. The latest comprehensive study, published by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July, 2015, has also found a link between antidepressants and some birth defects.

In a study published in The BMJ, the authors found no association between sertraline (Zoloft), escitalopram (Lexapro) and citalopram (Celexa) and birth defects. However, there was an association between fluoxetine (Prozac) and paroxetine (Paxil), and an increased risk of certain birth defects, especially if taken early in pregnancy.

The increased risks included heart defects, brain and skull defects, and abdominal wall defects. The good news is that the overall risk remains small even for women taking Prozac and Paxil. The bad news is that the use of Prozac or Paxil can double or triple the relative risk of some defects. The study found that the use of paroxetine early in pregnancy increased the risk of brain defects from two to seven births in every 10,000. The associations and relative risk between antidepressant use and certain birth defects varied. Of course, the relatively small risk is of little comfort if your child suffered from a birth defect while you were taking an antidepressant.

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DO YOU BELIEVE ANTIDEPRESSANTS OR OTHER MEDICATION CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR CHILD’S BIRTH DEFECT?

Class-action lawsuits against Lexapro, Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft have been common in recent years.
Under the law, drug makers have a duty to warn consumers of potential side effects of medication. The failure to do so can lead to legal liability for any harm caused by the side effects of the drug in question.

If you may have a claim due to the unanticipated side effects of a medication, you should speak to an
experienced medical malpractice attorney. Please note that this article is not intended as medical advice; whether taking an antidepressant is right for you is a decision you should make with your physician after considering all relevant factors.

At The Law Office of Richard M. Kenny, our team has significant experience helping parents obtain monetary help with raising a child with special needs after suffering from a birth injury or defect.

Keywords: antidepressants birth defects medication Class-action lawsuits paroxetine

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