Very unfortunate medical news was released in early June that showed a link between a mother’s use of SSRI type drugs and the presentation in her newborn baby of a condition known at persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). The report, by Dr. Krista Huybrechts and others, appeared in the prestigious Journal of the American Association and can found HERE.
SSRI drugs (short for: serotonin reuptake inhibitors) are commonly prescribed as antidepressants. The five most common are Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac. These drugs have been involved in Law suits for causing other birth defects when taken early in a pregnancy. The PPHN injury is one associated with use of these drugs in the late stages of pregnancy.
PPHN is a very serious condition. It occurs due to the failure of the fetal heart to switch over to normal self-operation at birth. It produces a lack of oxygen, which can lead to long term health problems or even death. Actually, there has been concern about the risks of PPHN appearing in SSRI users during pregnancy since 2006 when the FDA issued a warning. Later studies were both positive and negative, but involved small populations. The new JAMA study, by Harvard associated doctors, had a gigantic population base, some 3.7 million women, to study.
Issues have been raised over the years whether it is safe for women to use this class of drugs during pregnancy (to be balanced by the possible harm of being depressed while pregnant). That of course is a medical decision, but patients do need to be fully informed.
If you or someone you know has been involved with a baby born with PPHN, you may want to investigate the feasibility of a lawsuit. Please contact us today online or by telephone at (212) 684-1880 to speak with an experienced New York dangerous drugs liability law firm.