Dangerous Drugs and Preventable Birth Defects is Focus During Birth Defects Prevention Month for Victim Advocates at Anapol Schwartz

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Birth Defects Prevention Month was established in January to raise awareness about pregnancy complications and preventable birth defects. Anapol Schwartz promotes the effort by calling attention to dangerous drugs known to cause birth defects and lifelong obstacles for child and parent alike.

SSRI lawyer Gregory Spizer is taking on SSRI lawsuit cases

Attorney Gregory Spizer

The issue with SSRIs, as we see again and again in different pharmaceutical litigations, is that drug manufacturers can fail to adequately warn patients and health care professionals of a serious associated risk.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, which was created by the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to raise awareness about pregnancy complications and how to prevent birth defects.* Anapol Schwartz supports the effort and reminds pregnant women that taking prescription medications during pregnancy may cause permanent injuries to infants and a lifetime of costs and difficulties for parents.

Women who take a type of antidepressant called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, known as SSRIs, during pregnancy may increase the risk of a potentially life-threatening and permanent heart defect in their unborn babies.**

“The issue with SSRIs, as we see again and again in different pharmaceutical litigations, is that drug manufacturers can fail to adequately warn patients and health care professionals of a serious associated risk,” said Anapol Schwartz partner Gregory Spizer. “This particular situation is even worse, because we’re dealing with a potentially life-threatening danger to infants.”

SSRIs such as Zoloft, Prozac, and Celexa are associated with an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Newborns with the condition do not adapt to breathing after delivery. Infants with PPHN may require intensive emergency care with a mechanical ventilator to help them breathe. In severe cases, PPHN can result in brain and organ damage and death according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).** Without adequate warnings and continued SSRI use, women may not know their antidepressant medication is causing these very serious risks to their babies.

The theme of Birth Defects Prevention Month this year is “Birth defects are common, costly and critical,” which poetically describes the obstacles infants with birth defects and their families face for the rest of their lives. About one in every 33 newborns has a birth defect, and a baby with a birth defect is born every 4.5 minutes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Birth defects are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for more than one in five deaths.***

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Anapol Schwartz is national leader in product liability and pharmaceutical litigation, having successfully litigated thousands of cases in state and federal courts over the last 30 years. The firm has obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in successful verdicts, settlements and judgments on behalf of its clients.

*nbdpn.org/bdpm2013.php
**http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm283375.htm
***cdc.gov/NCBDDD/birthdefects/facts.html

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Brian J. O'Malley
Anapol Schwartz
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