San Diego, CA (PRWEB) November 08, 2013
Resource4thePeople announced today a detailed list of the types of birth defects that its national network of lawyers are reviewing over allegations that they were caused by the use of Zoloft and other antidepressants known as SSRIs.
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.*
“In response to numerous inquiries from consumers about which birth defects may be eligible for claims involving these allegations we are providing this detailed list of some of the defects that have been identified in federal lawsuits** now consolidated before a federal judge,” said Resource4thePeople.
“If any family has a child who suffers from any of these conditions we urge them to contact our national network of attorneys as soon as possible for a free consultation about the merits of their case and their rights to seek compensation for health issues that may have been caused by the use of these antidepressants before or during a pregnancy.”
The following list includes the most commonly identified birth defects cited in the SSRI lawsuits** filed in the consolidated federal litigation:
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, also identified as PPHN. This is perhaps the most serious of the defects because it affects the lungs and heart and has about a 10 percent fatality rate.
- Clubfoot, or deformed feet. This is a condition in which an infant’s feet twist inward or face downward.
- Atrial septal or ventrical septral defects in which infants are born with holes in their hearts.
- Craniosynostosis, which is a cranial deformity in the fetus which can cause serious problems, including seizures after birth.
- Omphalocele, which is a condition in which an infant’s internal organs may form outside of the body.
- Other birth defects, including Tetralogy of Fallot, spina bifida, transposition of the arteries and heart murmurs.
“These are the most common birth defects identified in these allegations but there are many other that have been alleged to have been caused by the use of Zoloft and other antidepressants in these lawsuits,” said Resource4thePeople.
“There may be legal time limits involved in the filing of claims or lawsuits so we are urging any family that has been affected by these allegations to contact us as soon as possible.”
The federal judge who is overseeing the consolidated federal lawsuits* is scheduled to meet with attorneys in the cases on Nov. 18, 2013 for an update on the litigation.
The latest figures*** provided by the U.S. Judicial Panel for Multidistrict Litigation show that as of Oct. 17, 2013 there are now 410 Zoloft lawsuits alleging birth defects before Judge Cynthia Rufe in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Judge Rufe is also overseeing a parallel multidistrict litigation**** involving claims that another antidepressant known as an SNRI, Effexor, also may cause birth defects in infants born to women who took the medication shortly before or during pregnancies.
The latest figures*** as of Oct. 17, 2013 from the same federal panel show that there are now 46 Effexor cases before Judge Rufe.
The latest warning questioning the effectiveness and addressing side effects involving SSRIs was published Aug. 19, 2013 in The New York Times***** in an article by a physician who laments the lack of progress in developing effective, safe antidepressants.
"This is just the latest of the concerns raised about the effectiveness and safety of SSRIs, which are a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors," said Resource4thePeople.
"As the physician points out, whether or not these medications such as Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac and Lexapro are providing safe, effective treatment for depression is open to debate and patients often fail to respond adequately to these medications or cannot tolerate their side effects.'"
Resource4thePeople also notes the publication of new medical research data that raises concerns about whether the SSRI 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.******
Resource4thePeople also notes another SSRI warning from a Great Britain health official.
Professor Stephen Pilling, adviser to Scotland's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence announced that taking antidepressants for mild to moderate depression is a risk not worth taking for pregnant woman.
A July 3, 2013 Scottish newspaper article******* detailed his warning, reporting that, "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."
That this heart defect is among several birth defect issues linked to SSRIs 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.
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.
*NIMH, 2008; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/index.shtml
**In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation - MDL 2342, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
**** MDL - 2458 IN RE: Effexor (Venlafaxine Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation
******BMJ, January 29, 2013; http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f288
*******Daily Record, July 3, 2013; http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/health-fitness/could-taking-anti-depressants-early-pregnancy-2019979
********FDA, December 14, 2011; http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/PublicHealthAdvisories/ucm124348.htm
*********FDA, December 14, 2011; http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm283375