A number of studies have linked certain SSRIs to birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Celexa is a SSRI typically prescribed as an antidepressant, but has been shown to carry risks when taken by women who are pregnant.
The FDA issued drug safety information alerting women of the risk Celexa poses when taken during pregnancy. Its warning was based on analysis of a published study identifying babies born to mothers taking SSRIs like Celexa as six times more likely to suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) following the 20th week of pregnancy.
PPHN occurs when blood does not flow by the lungs in newborn babies. Symptoms of the condition include:
- rapid heart rate;
- blue tint to the skin; and
- rapid breathing or difficulty in breathing.
Five years after the FDA warning, the U.S. National Library of Medicine published a study linking prenatal exposure to Celexa to neural tube defects. Two of the most common neural tube defects, which can develop in the first month of pregnancy, are spina bifida and anencephaly. These types of birth defects can lead to paralysis or death shortly after birth, respectively. The study also found fetal alcohol disorders were 10 times more common in babies exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy than those who were not.
Additionally, children exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy in the first trimester posed a risk of autism or other related disorders four times more than other children, per information published by CNN.com.
Reported risks that women face during pregnancy vary, but studies have proven that birth defects could be the result of exposure to Celexa and other SSRIs. Drug companies are responsible for proper testing and labeling of its products. When their products cause harm, they should be held accountable.
If your baby was born with a birth defect in Illinois and you took Celexa or another medication while pregnant and were unaware of the risks, contact an experienced Arlington Heights defective drug attorney today to discuss your legal options.