Kansas City Drug Injury Attorney Says New Study Backs Warnings of Possible Link Between Anti-Depressants, Birth Defects

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Derek H. Potts of the Potts Law Firm says a new study of SSRI anti-depressants adds to existing evidence that suggests the drugs cause birth defects when used by pregnant women.

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Kansas City drug injury attorney Derek H. Potts

Mr. Potts said the dangerous drug and pharmaceutical litigation team of Potts Law Firm, LLP, currently is investigating the use of SSRIs among pregnant women whose newborns have small head size, low birth weight or other birth defects.

Kansas City drug injury attorney Derek H. Potts said today that a new study reinforces existing health advisories about the risk of birth defects among the children of women who take anti-depressants during pregnancy.

The Archives of General Psychiatry recently published findings of the study. According to the research, women who took anti-depressants during pregnancy were more likely to have babies with reduced head size. They also had twice the risk of pre-term birth, compared with depressed women who did not take medication.

In July 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a public health advisory on the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants by women during pregnancy and the potential risk of a rare heart and lung condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). In December 2011, the FDA said additional studies had conflicting findings.

PPHN occurs when a newborn baby does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. Newborns with PPHN may require intensive care support, including a ventilator to increase their oxygen level. If severe, PPHN can result in multiple organ damage, including brain damage, and even death, the FDA says.

Mr. Potts said the dangerous drug and pharmaceutical litigation team of Potts Law Firm, LLP, currently is investigating the use of Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac among pregnant women whose newborns have small head size, low birth weight or other birth defects.

Candice McNabb is the Potts Law Firm Partner in Houston and is handling the firm’s SSRI investigations.

“This new study backs up previous FDA advisories about SSRIs being related to serious birth defects,” McNabb said. “It adds to our lengthy concerns about anti-depressant drugs being used by pregnant women.”

According to McNabb, the firm is also investigating Topamax and Depakote, which are anti-epileptic drugs frequently prescribed for depression and migraines.

If parents believe their child has birth defects related to the mother’s use of SSRI anti-depressants during pregnancy, it’s important to contact an attorney with experience in this complex area of the law, McNabb said.

An attorney would need authorization to obtain proof from the mother’s medical provider or pharmacy that she took the name-brand drug during her first trimester of pregnancy.
Then, medical experts employed by the lawyer or law firm would need to examine the baby’s medical diagnosis and medical review to establish the extent of the harm suffered, McNabb said.

“Times of ingestion and the names of the drugs aren’t always easy to remember, so if a mother believes she has taken one of these drugs and it has harmed her baby, then we are always glad to investigate,” McNabb said.

“The mother of a child who may have been harmed by a dangerous drug she was prescribed has a right to assistance with medical bills and compensation for other losses, and that’s what we are here to help with.”

About Potts Law Firm, LLP

Founded in 2002 by Derek Potts, Potts Law Firm, LLP, is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and committed to aggressively representing those who have been wronged by the negligence, misconduct, or fraud of others from coast to coast. Candice McNabb is Potts Law Firm Partner in Houston, Texas. The firm’s practice areas include: Aviation, birth injuries, car accidents, class action, consumer protection, dangerous drugs and devices, environmental and toxic exposure, medical malpractice, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, nursing home neglect, securities litigation, unfair business practices and truck accidents. For more information, call the firm toll-free at (866) 311-2230 or use its online form.

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