Drug injury: Paxil® & Zoloft®
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are widely prescribed for the treatment of depression, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia. Recently, the use of SSRIs during pregnancy has been linked to babies born with birth defects that can be severe and even life-threatening.
SSRIs focus specifically on serotonin which is released by the brain and then reabsorbed by the brain so it can be used at a later time. Physiological depression occurs when the brain doesn’t have enough serotonin to maintain a stable mood; SSRIs are designed to allow for more messages to be sent throughout the brain and results in a steadier, happier mood.
Paxil® and Zoloft®
SSRIs interact with our brains to control serotonin; all SSRIs have been linked to instances of birth defects. Paxil® (paroxetine) and Zoloft® (sertraline) are two of the more common ones.
Suicide & SSRIs
SSRIs may increase suicidal thoughts or actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults especially within the first few months of treatment. Depression and certain other serious mental illnesses are important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Patients of all ages who are started on antidepressant therapy should be monitored appropriately and observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.
SSRIs and birth defects
Research indicates that pregnant women who take SSRIs are much more likely to have babies with certain types of birth defects than pregnant women who do not take SSRIs. Reports of serious injuries and medical conditions include heart defects, lung problems (PPHN), deformed limbs, clubbed feet, cleft lips and palates, abdominal organs protruding outside of the abdominal cavity, premature hardening of infant skull bones, and spina bifida.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Study results show a connection with the use of antidepressant medicines during pregnancy and babies born with PPHN lung problems. Babies born with PPHN have abnormal blood flow through the heart and lungs and do not get enough oxygen to their bodies causing breathing problems outside of the womb. Babies with PPHN can be very sick and death may result.
What should I do if I took an SSRI and have health issues or had a child with a birth defect?
If you or someone you know has suffered health issues after taking a SSRI prescription drug, contact the McDivitt Law Firm, toll free at (877) 846-4878, or click here for a free confidential case evaluation.
Consult with your physician if you have questions concerning either of these medications. This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute medical advice and should not be viewed as such. For medical advice, you should always consult with your physician. Do not stop taking any prescription medications without first consulting a doctor.