January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has increased its efforts to raise awareness among women, families, and medical professionals about the risks and causes of birth defects and malformations. While the causes of many types of birth defects are still unknown, in some cases, genetics, lifestyle, and medication can have a major impact on a baby’s development in the womb.
It is well known that the use of tobacco and alcohol during pregnancy can be incredibly dangerous for both the mother and the infant. However, in recent years, a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications have been linked to serious birth defects, as well.
Anti-depressants, in particular, have been found to cause significant risks of birth defects and lowered IQs when taken by women during pregnancy.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) found that 20 to 30 percent of newborns exposed to anti-depressant medication developed abnormal mental conditions, heart defects, and persistent pulmonary hypertension.
Common anti-depressants, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), include Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro.
As with other product manufacturers in the U.S., pharmaceutical companies are legally responsible for protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury or death. If your child developed a birth defect as a result of exposure to a medication during pregnancy, you may be able to pursue legal action against the drug manufacturer.
Children living with birth defects often require special care and costly medical treatment to assist with physical, intellectual, or socio-emotional development. If you believe that your baby was born with birth defects due to exposure to dangerous drugs, you deserve answers. Attorney Laura Brown has the skill and resources to help families investigate whether legal action is appropriate. Contact Williams & Brown LLP for a free consultation. Submit an online contact form or call (888) 741-6200.