Serotonin-reuptake inhibitors such as Prozac and Celexa are known as “SSRIs” and are very commonly used. However, recent studies show that use by pregnant women results in increased to the fetus of developing future birth defects. Now yet another study, this one done in Sweden, found an increase in a lung injury caused by increased blood pressure. The disease has been labeled pulmonary hypertension, which in its mild form causes shortness of breath. It the worst case scenario, the elevated pressure leads secondarily to heart failure, which can be fatal.
There are many types of birth defects, and our firm’s founding senior partner, Paul Rheingold, has been litigating birth defect cases since the 1960’s. This started with Mer/29, a failed Marion Merrell anti-cholesterol drug that caused birth defects. Paul continued the charge with diethylstilbestrol (DES) which caused mis-shapened uteruses in girls. This resulted in his landmark New York Court of Appeals ruling allowing market share liability.
Paul’s experience combined with our medical staff helps sort out what drugs can cause what birth defects. The important investigation is into which trimester the suspect drug was used. The fetus develops different organs in each trimester. Birth defects result when there is a coincident timing between drug use and organ growth.