Prozac Birth Injuries
Birth Injury Attorneys in Corpus Christi
A number of birth injuries have been associated with the use of Prozac
(one of the two most popularly prescribed antidepressants on the market
today). A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Prozac has a
number of beneficial effects, including treatment of depression, anxiety,
panic attacks, premenstrual dysmorphic disorder (PMDD), bulimia, obsessive-compulsive
disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, it has been
known for some time now that the use of Prozac during pregnancy can lead
to birth injuries and/or defects.
If you were prescribed Prozac while pregnant and your child was born with
birth injuries, contact Bandas Law Firm, P.C. in Corpus Christi at (361) 238-2789
for a free consultation with our birth injury lawyers.
Prescribing Prozac to Pregnant Women
Graded a class C drug by the FDA, Prozac is known to have some harmful
effects on animals and is available only through a prescription. However,
because class C drugs cannot be ethically or legally tested on fetuses
or infants, the risk associated with taking these drugs while pregnant
cannot be accurately determined before they go to market.
As a result, without any warning against prescribing Prozac to pregnant
women, many doctors assumed that there would be no unwanted side effects
to the health of a fetus. To avoid relapses into depression, eating disorders,
and other issues associated with an imbalance in brain chemistry, doctors
continued to prescribe Prozac to pregnant women for many years, beginning
in the early 1990s.
Risks of Birth Injuries & Defects
More recent studies have shown, however, that taking Prozac while pregnant
can increase chances of birth injuries and/or defects. These include problems
with the heart and lungs, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN)
in which a baby’s lungs and heart do not fully or immediately adapt
to breathing outside of the womb.
Other Prozac birth injuries and defects include anencephaly and cleft palate
or lip. In the case of anencephaly, the baby will be born without part
of its brain and/or skull. A cleft palate involves a fissure or gap in
the upper palate and/or lip, often requiring reconstructive surgery. Both
of these problems are most strongly associated with Prozac use in the
third trimester, especially within the last month of pregnancy.
Who Is Responsible in a Prozac Birth Injury Case?
If a baby suffers a birth injury or defect due to Prozac use during pregnancy,
the mother’s doctor and/or the pharmaceutical company may be considered
responsible for the baby’s health problems and should be held liable
for paying damages to the mother.
In some cases, a doctor will prescribe Prozac to a pregnant woman in limited
doses to avoid dangerous relapses into depression, bulimia, and other
disorders. However, to do this ethically, the doctor must warn the mother
of the risks for Prozac birth injury and must ensure that the mother understands
those risks fully. If the doctor does not do this, then they are acting
negligently and should be held responsible.
Likewise, if a pharmaceutical company neglects to include proper warnings
of potential Prozac birth injury or defect on their labels, then they
have shown negligence. Years ago, this negligence would have been due
to lack of proper testing or warnings against potential harm. Today, with
studies proving the strong association between Prozac and birth injury,
it is a case of neglecting to include known information about the drug
and its potentially harmful side effects.
If you were prescribed Prozac during pregnancy and were not properly warned
about potential birth injuries or defects, then you may have a Prozac
birth injury case, especially if your baby suffered any of the injuries
or defects listed above. To discuss your case and the best course of action
for you to pursue damages—including medical bills, pain and suffering,
etc.—contact Bandas Law Firm today for a free consultation and case review.
You may call us at our office at (361) 238-2789 or use our online contact
form. Our Corpus Christi birth injury lawyers are prepared to fight tirelessly
for justice for you and your child.