Transcript - SSRI Antidepressants - Associated with Birth Defects from Usage During Pregnancy

SSRI antidepressants used in pregnancy may be associated with a number of birth defects. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors or SSRI's are prescribed to treat depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks and personality disorders.

The first antidepressant drug in the SSRI class hit the US market in 1988 under the brand name Prozac. By 2005, antidepressants like Prozac had become the most prescribed drugs in the country. Other SSRI's are sold under the brand names Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Wellbutrin and Zoloft. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh in May 2005, estimated that in any given year over 80,000 pregnant US women are prescribed SSRI's.

A number of lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of SSRI's. The plantiffs in these SSRI birth defect lawsuits are claiming that the drug manufacturers failed to warn patients about the possibility of infants of these mothers developing birth defects including: Heart Defects, Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), Skull Defects, Cleft Lip or Palate, Limb Deformities, Genital and Intestinal Defects.

In October, 2009, a jury awarded a family $2.5 million in a Paxil lawsuit filed against Glaxo Smith Kline that alleged Paxil was responsible for a young boy's birth defects. In July 2010, the company reportedly settled around 800 Paxil birth defects lawsuits for approximately $1 billion. As of early 2014, there were over 475 Zoloft lawsuits on file.

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