Lawsuits Alleging The Drug Caused Birth Defects Taken By Pregnant Women. The makers of Lexapro have been named in three lawsuits alleging the drug caused birth defects when taken by pregnant women. The plaintiffs in the lawsuits are mothers, all of whom took Lexapro while pregnant and gave birth to a child with a congenital defect.
The lawsuits, which were filed in Missouri’s St. Louis County Circuit Court earlier this month, assert that the birth defects may have occurred because of the increased levels of serotonin that Lexapro promotes. The plaintiffs, Kimberlee Fisher, Kristy Hernandez and Leah Scott, each allege that they were unaware of Lexapro’s risks when they used the drug because Forest Laboratories and Forest Pharmaceutical negligently failed to fully disclose the results of tests it had conducted and failed to warn the medical community that Lexapro could cross the placental barrier. They each state that they would not have taken Lexapro during their pregnancy had they been warned about the drug’s risks.
Fisher’s daughter, Isabella, was born on Nov. 23, 2009, and diagnosed with spina bifida. Kayla Hernandez had a club foot when she was born on Aug. 6, 2010 while Damian Guidry had a bilateral cleft lip and palette upon his birth Dec. 28, 2007, the suits state.
Studies Have Linked SSRI With Serious Birth Defects
A growing number of studies have linked Lexapro other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant use in pregnancy with serious birth defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), heart defects, lung defects, abdominal defects, cranial defects and other malformations.
GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Paxil, has been named in more than 800 lawsuits alleging that SSRI caused birth defects, while Pfizer faces more than 50 birth defect lawsuits over its SSRI, Zoloft.