San Diego, CA (PRWEB) August 25, 2013
Resource4thePeople announced today its latest update to consumers who are affected by SSRI lawsuits alleging that this class of antidepressants puts women at risk of having babies with birth defects.
The allegations involve claims that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) taken during early pregnancy significantly increase the risk of birth defects, according to the court file in consolidated federal SSRI lawsuits* in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
A check of the court file shows that an additional lawsuit** has been filed claiming that Paxil, one of the SSRIs, taken by a mother during her pregnancy caused her to birth an infant suffering from a birth defect. The lawsuit alleges that the child had to undergo surgery to treat a neural tube defect, according to the court file.
"Paxil is one of the most popular SSRIs and this Paxil lawsuit contains allegations that are similar to many others, which is why it was included in the consolidated federal litigation in Pennsylvania," said Resource4thePeople.
"More consumers are contacting us about allegations of birth defects involving Paxil and another popular antidepressant, Zoloft, and we are informing them that we will continue to offer free consultations to them about their legal options to seek compensation over such allegations."
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).
Resource4thePeople also is reporting that the judge overseeing these consolidated lawsuits, which are called a multidistrict litigation, has scheduled an important hearing to monitor the progress of the lawsuits.
Judge Cynthia M. Rufe has set a Leadership Status Conference for Sept. 27, 2013 at the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia, Pa. involving the Defendants’ Lead and Liaison Counsel, Plaintiffs’ Liaison Counsel, the Executive Committee of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, the Multi-District Coordinator, and the Special Discovery Master, according to the court file.
"These are important conferences because they address pre-trial evidence gathering and any legal problems that may have developed as these SSRI cases advance toward trials," said Resource4thePeople.
Resource4thePeople also notes that as the SSRI litigation advances, another warning has been sounded recently over possible links between SSRIs and birth defects, this 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.
"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.
"Because of these concerns our national team of lawyers will 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."
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.
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 Paxil, 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 these 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.*******
*In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation - MDL 2342, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
**Case # 2:2013-cv-03696, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
***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
*****NIMH, 2008; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/mental-health-medications/index.shtml
******FDA, December 14, 2011; http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm283375.htm
*******BMJ, January 29, 2013; http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f288