A popularly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Celexa is often prescribed to fight more than simple depression. The drug’s ability to rebalance brain chemistry has been shown to be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, anxiety disorders, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and other conditions, as well.
Because of some ambiguity in testing by the FDA, however, this class C drug has been prescribed to pregnant women for many years without much concern for whether or not Celexa can cause birth injury and/or defects. At first, the drug was deemed safe for pregnant women but only because no tests were able to be performed on infants or unborn babies. However, after several years and numerous Celexa birth injury cases, further research and studies were conducted.
SSRIs Increase Risks of Birth Injury and Defects
The most recent studies have shown that Celexa and other SSRIs increase the chance of certain birth injuries by a small but measurable percentage. The risks involved with taking Celexa during pregnancy (even only during the first trimester) include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). In this case, the baby’s lungs and heart will not have developed enough to adapt quickly and easily to breathing independently outside of the womb. Treatment includes elevating the baby’s oxygen levels and helping its lungs operate as it adapts.
If you take Celexa throughout your pregnancy, you are more likely to see other birth injuries or defects, including anencephaly or a cleft palate. In the case of a cleft palate, surgery is most often necessary but will address the problem, which is not often life-threatening. Anencephaly, however, in which the baby is born without parts of its skull and/or brain due to a neural tube problem, is often fatal.
Treating Depression During Pregnancy
For many doctors, the choice to cease depression treatment is a matter of deciding which action will cause more pain and suffering for the mother and baby. While prescribing SSRIs like Celexa can increase the chances of birth injury, doctors also fear that ceasing depression treatment could cause the mother to lapse into depression or anxiety. This could cause her to harm herself, relapse into disordered eating patterns, or otherwise endanger herself and/or her baby.
In fact, the FDA recommends that expecting mothers talk to their doctors before ceasing depression treatment. The idea is, if you are warned of the risks associated with taking Celexa and other SSRIs during pregnancy, you will be able to make an informed decision on the best course of action for you and your baby.
Some doctors, however, do not take the time to inform their patients of Celexa birth injury and/or defects. If you become pregnant and your doctor continues to prescribe Celexa for your depression without giving you proper warning and helping you understand the risks associated with this medication, then your doctor should be held responsible if your baby experiences a Celexa birth injury.
Also, legally, pharmaceutical companies must include warnings for all potentially harmful side effects of their drugs. If you find that you were not warned in any way or that you were not given sufficient information, then you may have a Celexa birth injury case.
You should not have to pay for the medical bills, pain and suffering, or any other damages associated with your baby’s Celexa birth injury. If your baby suffered a birth injury or defect due to your Celexa use during pregnancy, call Bandas Law Firm today at 855-427-3332 to schedule a free consultation. You may also get in touch with us through our online contact form, and we will respond as soon as possible.