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Studies Show Possible Link Between Antidepressants and Birth Injuries

Expectant mothers are bombarded with a lot of information of what is and isn't safe during pregnancy, including what to eat and or what not to eat and drink, what supplements to take, and a much more. Recent studies appear to add to the list by showing a possible link between antidepressants - also known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - and birth defects.

The Archives of General Psychiatry published a small study showing children are twice as likely to develop autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when their mothers take antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft during pregnancy. The link is especially strong when the antidepressants are taken during the first trimester; children are four times more likely when mothers take ASDs during this time.

Further, a Finnish study finds that Prozac (fluoxetine) and Paxil (paroxetine), if taken during pregnancy, increase babies' risks of heart defects. However, the study did not show that the drugs were the sole cause of the heart defects and the risks posed by the drugs were small - 105 of 10,000 children of mothers taking Prozac developed heart defects and 31 of 10,000 children of mothers who took Paxil developed heart defects.

While the risks of children developing heart defects after mothers take antidepressants is relatively small and additional, bigger studies need to be done to show the link between antidepressants and autism, families that have children affected by these drugs cannot take comfort in "small risk" or the promise of additional studies. It is important that mothers who take antidepressants discuss the possible birth defects with their physicians so that an informed decision about continuing on antidepressants during pregnancy can be made.

If your child developed a birth defect such as autism or a heart defect after the mother took antidepressants during pregnancy, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, long-term medical care and pain and suffering.

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