Many of the most severe side effects associated with the use of SSRI Antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) are congenital birth defects, including: Congenital Heart Defects, Congenital Lung Defects, Congenital Abdominal Wall Defects, Congenital Cranio-facial Defects,and other birth defects and malformations affecting various other areas of the child’s anatomy.
According to scientific studies, women who take SSRI Antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) are at least twice as likely to give birth to children with serious congenital heart-lung defects. A congenital heart-lung defect is a problem with the structure of the heart and/or lungs present at birth. There are several forms of heart-lung and respiratory system birth defects that have been linked to the use of SSRI Antidepressants such as Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram) during pregnancy. In the uterus, a baby’s circulation bypasses the lungs. When a baby is born and begins to breathe, its body normally transitions to the process of respiration. Certain SSRI-related birth defects result in the circulation of un-oxygenated blood throughout the body.
Pulmonary valve stenosis is a condition in which the flow of blood from the heart (right ventricle, or lower chamber) is blocked at the valve that separates the heart from the pulmonary artery (pulmonic valve). This narrowing is usually present at birth (congenital).
Pulmonary valve stenosis is a heart-lung defect most often caused by a problem that occurs when the unborn baby (fetus) is developing. The cause is unknown, but SSRI antidepressant drug side effects or genetics may play a role.
Narrowing that occurs in the pulmonary valve is called pulmonary valve stenosis. Narrowing that occurs below the pulmonary valve is called subvalvar pulmonary stenosis. Another form of the condition, supravalvar pulmonary stenosis, is when narrowing occurs above the main pulmonary valve.
The defect may occur alone. However, it can also occur with other heart defects. The condition can be mild or severe. It occurs rarely, in only about 10% of patients with congenital heart disease.
Pulmonary stenosis can also occur later in life as a result of conditions that cause damage or scarring of the heart valves. These include rheumatic fever, endocarditis, and other disorders.
•Bluish coloration to the skin (cyanosis) in some patients
•Poor weight gain or failure to thrive in infants with severe blockage
•Shortness of breath
Note: Patients with mild to moderate blockage may not have any symptoms. There may be no symptoms until the disorder is severe. Symptoms, when present, may get worse with exercise or activity.
The health care provider may hear a heart murmur by stethoscope. Tests used in the diagnosis of pulmonary stenosis may include:
•MRI of the heart
Percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation (valvuloplasty) using a catheter can be successful for pulmonary valve stenosis that occurs without other heart defects.
Surgery may be performed to repair the defect.
Medications used before surgery may include:
•Anti-arrhythmics to improve the heart function
•Blood thinners to prevent clots
•Water pills to remove the excess fluid
As a general rule with mild stenosis, one-third of patients get better, one-third stay the same, and one-third get worse. The outcome is good with successful surgery or cardiac catheterization. Other congenital heart defects may also be a factor.
•Heart failureHeart failure
•Leaking of blood back into the right ventricle (pulmonary regurgitation) after repair
•Right ventricular hypertrophy (enlargement)
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of pulmonary valve stenosis. Call your health care provider if you have treated or untreated pulmonary valve stenosis and you develop swelling (of the ankles or any area), difficulty breathing, or other new symptoms.
Valvular pulmonary stenosis; Heart valve pulmonary stenosis
There are distinct differences between an SSRI Antidepressant (Zoloft – sertraline, Paxil – paroxetine, Prozac – fluoxetine, Lexapro – escitalopram and Celexa – citalopram) class action lawsuit and a more typical individual SSRI lawsuit. A SSRI class action lawsuit would be a form of SSRI lawsuit in which a large group of people (plaintiffs) collectively bring a lawsuit to court in the form of a “class action” against the manufacturers of the SSRI antidepressant (defendant). In a class action lawsuit involving personal injury, resulting from defective products such as antidepressant SSRI drugs like Zoloft (sertraline), Paxil (paroxetine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram) and Celexa (citalopram), all SSRI lawsuit plaintiffs would typically be grouped together into a single SSRI class action lawsuit, regardless of the degree or severity of their birth defect injuries. In this type of SSRI class action lawsuit, plaintiffs with injuries ranging from minor heart murmurs not requiring surgery, all the way to the most severe congenital heart defects, requiring multiple surgeries or a complete heart transplant, would be grouped into one single SSRI class action lawsuit. All plaintiffs in the class would equally share any award or settlement resulting from the SSRI class action lawsuit.
In SSRI antidepressant lawsuits involving catastrophic injury or death, an individual lawsuit, in most cases, is more appropriate and in the plaintiff’s best interest. SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro and Paxil, have been linked to some of the severe congenital heart defects listed above, including: atrial septal defects (ASD – hole in the heart), ventricular septal defects (VSD – hole in the heart), tetrology of fallot (ToF), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), transposition of the great arteries (TGA or TOGA), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), double outlet right ventricle (DORV), and coarctation of the aorta (CoA). SSRI antidepressant cases such as these are better suited to an individual SSRI antidepressant lawsuit because of the severity and degree of injury to the plaintiff. In an individual SSRI lawsuit, each plaintiff’s case is filed, presented and considered individually, based on its own strength and degree of injury.
In many cases involving SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and the serious congenital heart defects related to these SSRI antidepressants, surgery is required. Heart surgery will typically be required when a child is an infant or toddler and then again, potentially multiple times, as the child grows to maturity. In many cases, with surgery and medical care, children may be able to lead mostly normal and productive lives. An individual SSRI lawsuit allows each SSRI victim, their injuries and their future needs to be considered on an individual basis when determining damages, awards and settlement amounts, and not as part of a class action lawsuit.
If you took Prozac (fluoxetine), Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram) or any another SSRI antidepressant drug during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital heart, lung or other birth defect, we encourage you to contact an SSRI Antidepressant Lawsuit Attorney at our law firm immediately. It may be too late to recover from the devastating effects of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro and Celexa but an experienced pharmaceutical products liability lawyer at the Willis Law Firm can assist you in legal action against the makers of these dangerous antidepressant drugs. You are not alone. Join other birth defect victims and their families in speaking up and fighting for your legal rights.
Please fill out our free online legal evaluation form and we will contact you within 24 hours, or call our offices at 1-800-883-9858 for immediate help. Please keep in mind that certain states have statutes of limitation that limit the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit or seek legal action. Contact our law firm immediately so that we may explain the rights and options available to you and your family.