Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawyer

Antidepressant Birth Defect Lawyer

talk to our attorneys about an antidepressant birth defect lawsuit


According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are 120,000 children born with birth defects every year in the United States. Of those children, approximately 6,000 fatalities occur, making this the leading cause of infant deaths. The severity of the abnormalities range from mild to severe, and can affect any part of the body. Not all abnormalities are physically evident; Detecting neurological disorders, heart problems, and hearing loss may take months or even years. The abnormality can have lifelong effects and potentially shorten the lifespan of the child.

The cause of birth defects is a complex combination of factors
. Some factors include genetics, environment, and behavior. Unfortunately, the cause of most abnormalities goes undefined. However, the mother can possibly minimize potential risk by changing her environment and behavior. If you believe your child’s birth defect may be due to medical negligence, consulting with a birth injury lawyer can provide you with essential legal guidance and support during this challenging time.

Experts agree the mother should:

  • Avoid alcohol, smoking, and “street” drugs
  • Improve health before conception
  • Be aware of family genetics
  • Talk to a healthcare provider about prescribed medications
  • Take a doctor-approved prenatal vitamin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the task of researching and documenting the safety of medications during pregnancy
. Unfortunately, the FDA has only researched about 10 percent of medications and their effect on the unborn child.

Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed drug in the United States. An estimated 23 percent of women in the childbearing age category take at least one antidepressant a day. Over 60 percent of women taking an antidepressant take it for over 2 years. There are numerous classes of antidepressants, and one popular class is Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa are examples of popular SSRIs.

SSRIs are effective at treating depression because they affect neurotransmitters in the brain
. SSRIs stabilize serotonin levels by blocking the natural reabsorption of serotonin. However, the embryo and fetus may suffer serious consequences.  The most common complication to the newborn is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), and the consequences may last a lifetime.

Accutane is a common skin cream used to treat cystic acne that has also been shown to cause serious abnormalities in utero
. Accutane is effective, but it has the rarest medication classification of X. Experts do not understand why the high number of deformities and abnormalities are common, but they occur in more than one quarter of the births. The side effects to the child include a lower IQ, blindness, hearing impairment, and physical deformity.

Fluconazole is a powerful antifungal medication. It can treat yeast infections of the throat, mouth, and vagina. In addition, it is an effective drug in treating some cases of meningitis. The FDA classified Fluconazole as a Category D drug, so it has shown strong evidence of adverse effects to the developing fetus. Reported deformities include cleft palate, brachycephaly, aorta valve malformation, problematic bone growth, and facial abnormalities.

Only a small number of reported abnormalities or deformities result in death
. However, serious birth defects often result in a lifetime of complications, medical bills, and ridicule. SSRIs, Fluconazole, and Accutane are three examples of harmful medications. A healthcare provider is responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of the mother and the developing fetus. In cases where a wrongful death occurs due to negligence or malpractice, it is essential to consult with a wrongful death lawyer to seek justice and compensation for your loss. Healthcare providers obtains information from the FDA on any potential side effects after extensive research. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or abnormality because of a medication or drug, consider speaking with a drug injury attorney to understand your rights. Birth defects may not always be avoidable, but there are some ways to minimize.

Disclaimer: Do not stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death. Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.

Attorney Terry Bryant

Attorney Terry BryantTerry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]