Lexapro Use During Pregnancy Poses Risks to Pregnant Mothers and Babies. Many prescription medications have side effects that can include serious health risks. When a person gets prescribed those drugs, they must learn about the possible side effects of the medications so that they can use them as safely as possible, and so they can talk to their doctor immediately if they start experiencing any of the side effects. When a pregnant mother takes prescription medication, there are risks that the drug poses to her health, and there are also risks that the medication poses to her developing fetus. Some of the risks might be the same, while others may be different, and some of the risks could be serious or even life-threatening.
Lexapro’s Risks to Babies
Lexapro is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI)-type antidepressant medication that poses serious health risks to both pregnant mothers and their unborn children. Lexapro use by some pregnant mothers has caused birth defects like heart abnormalities, cleft lip and palate, limb deformities, and persistent pulmonary hypertension in their children. Several studies demonstrate the connection between the use of Lexapro during various stages of pregnancy and an elevated incidence of birth defects. For example, a Danish study that got published in 2005 reports that infants exposed to SSRIs during their mother’s first trimester of pregnancy had a 60% higher likelihood of developing heart birth defects.
In 2006, considering the study mentioned above and other studies linking Lexapro to various types of birth defects, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked the manufacturers of several SSRI-type antidepressants to add information about those health risks to the drugs’ labels. The list of birth defects that can get caused by Lexapro includes but is not limited to Down’s Syndrome, congenital heart lesions and anomalies, hernia, cleft lip, cleft palate, clubfoot, blindness, Spina Bifida, undescended testes in males, and physical malformations of the limbs or other parts of the body.
Lexipro’s Risks to Mothers, Especially Young Mothers
Late in 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its position that prescribing antidepressants to young adults is risky. At that time, the FDA proposed including warnings about suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young adults, ages eighteen to twenty-four, on the labels of SSRI-type antidepressants, in addition to the warnings that the labels already had regarding similar risks to child patients taking those medications. The proposed labeling changes also included a suggestion that patients of all ages get carefully monitored when starting antidepressant treatment and throughout antidepressant treatment.
The FDA evaluated a group of nearly four hundred different studies that involved close to a hundred thousand patients and eleven different antidepressant medications. The agency’s analysis of those studies revealed an elevated risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in young adults between ages eighteen and twenty-five. The risk for that age group is similar to the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors seen in children who got treated with antidepressants.
LEGAL HELP IS AVAILABLE FOR THOSE HARMED BY LEXAPRO
If you or someone you love gave birth to a baby with a birth defect or experienced suicide, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal behaviors during or after treatment with Lexapro, you might be able to recover for your injury, illness, or loss. The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP offer completely free and confidential case evaluations. If you want to learn more about how we can help you, please complete our online website contact form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).