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SSRI Birth Defect Lawsuit Allegations Update: Scottish Health Official Warns of Danger of Some Antidepressants During Pregnancies

July 31, 2013

National health advisor says risk not taking because of higher rate of birth defects. Resource4thePeople's national network of attorneys continues to offer free consultations to provide possible legal options to families of children allegedly suffering birth defects after use of antidepressants during pregnancies.

San Diego, CA (PRWEB) July 31, 2013

http://www.resource4thepeople.com/defectivedrugs/SSRI-Birth-Defects.html

Resource4thePeople announced today its latest update about the dangers of a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and lawsuits that have been filed alleging that the medications put women at risk of having babies with birth defects.

The latest news is a warning issued by Professor Stephen Pilling, adviser to Scotland's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), who warned that anti-depressants for mild to moderate depression is a risk not worth taking for pregnant woman.

Pilling's comments were outlined in a July 3, 2013 article* in Scotland's leading newspaper, the Daily Record and Sunday Mail, about birth defect risks involved with women taking SSRIs during the early part of their pregnancies.

The article said "One in seven Scots takes anti-depressants but now women are being warned against using them in early pregnancy amid claims that they increase the risk of a child being born with a heart defect."

Resource4thePeople notes that this heart defect is among several birth defect issues linked to SSRIs that were raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in a 2006 Public Health Advisory** that the agency later updated in 2011 that raise serious concerns about the effects on children born to mothers who used these medications during their pregnancies.

"This is the latest red flag raised about the allegations that taking SSRIs during pregnancy may cause mothers to give birth to children suffering birth defects that were initially raised by the FDA years ago," said Resource4thePeople.

"These concerns have caused our national team of lawyers to continue accepting claims from consumers who are alleging that their children may have suffered birth defects as a result of the use of these popular antidepressants."

Resource4thePeople is also informing consumers that free consultations over legal options to seek compensation will continue to be offered over allegations that SSRIs caused a wide variety of birth defects.

Among the claims being reviewed by Resource4thePeople attorneys are that women who used SSRIs to treat depression while pregnant were allegedly put at increased risk of giving birth to an infant suffering from alleged birth defects such as cleft palate, club foot, spina bifida and heart and abdominal defects.

Also being reviewed are claims involving the life-threatening lung condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).

SSRI anti-depressants are sold under various brand and generic drug names such as Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa and Depakote and are described by The National Institute of Mental Health as the most popular antidepressants prescribed in the United States.***

The FDA warned in its 2011 update**** that it is unsure of whether the use of SSRIs during a pregnancy puts a mother at greater risk of giving birth to a child suffering PPHN..

One of the medications — Zoloft — is the subject of numerous lawsuits claiming that children born to mothers who took the SSRI during pregnancies suffered alleged birth defects that they have been consolidated before a single federal court judge.*****

The multidistrict litigation is being coordinated under the jurisdiction of U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The multidistrict litigation – which involves consolidation of hundreds of cases from across the country, according to the court file – was designated because the cases involve similar allegations against common defendants.

The judge has scheduled bellwether trials in the litigation to begin in October of 2014, according to the court file.

Resource4thePeople also notes that that the court file in the litigation shows that there are now over 300 cases consolidated by the federal court system in the litigation.

Resource4thePeople also is announcing that as this litigation moves forward its nationwide team of attorneys will continue to review claims from consumers who are alleging their children may have suffered birth defects caused by the mother's use of Zoloft or other SSRIs.

"A common question we have been receiving from consumers involves the question of how their legal rights may be affected by the progress of this litigation,” said Resource4thePeople.

“Every case is different but we are continuing to offer free consultations to consumers to help provide them the information they need to preserve all of their legal options over allegations involving the use of SSRIs.”

These consultations can provide legal options about whether such families may be eligible to seek compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering and other expenses that may stem from these circumstances.

Resource4thePeople also is bringing to the attention of SSRI users new medical research data that raises concerns about whether the anti-depressants may also put patients at increased risk of suffering heart arrhythmia.

These concerns are detailed in published reports of a medical research study in the Jan. 29, 2013 British Medical Journal.******

According to the study, the SSRIs citalopram (brand name Celexa) and escitalopram (brand name Lexapro) “trigger a disturbance in QT interval (the duration of electrical activity of the heart muscle) heart rhythms.”

The medical research report's lead study author Dr. Roy Perlis and his colleagues “confirmed through analysis a slight but significant QT prolongation with higher doses of citalopram,” saying that “although some QT variation is normal, a longer interval can upset timing of the heartbeat and lead to dizziness, fainting, and depending on severity, sudden death.”

The researchers also reported that citalopram, escitalopram, and amitriptyline were associated with prolongation of corrected QT interval, which is a marker of increased ventricular arrhythmia risk.

SOURCES:

*http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/health-fitness/could-taking-anti-depressants-early-pregnancy-2019979

**http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/PublicHealthAdvisories/ucm124348.htm

***http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/index.shtml

****http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm283375.htm

*****In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation – MDL 2342, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

******http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f288

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10971136.htm


Source: prweb



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