Celexa Birth Defects

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the SSRI antidepressant drug Celexa, due to information suggesting the drug may increase a child's risk of suffering serious birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Celexa belongs to a class of antidepressant medications called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which function by restoring the level of serotonin in the brain. Celexa (citalopram) has been on the market in the U.S. since 1998, when it was FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Since then, Forest Laboratories' Celexa has become one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs available. Unfortunately, Celexa may no longer be considered safe in the treatment of pregnant women, due to information indicating potential Celexa birth defects. Despite the potential for Celexa to cause serious fetal harm, studies indicate that more than 80,000 pregnant women are prescribed SSRI antidepressants like Celexa in the U.S. in any given year. If you took Celexa while pregnant and your child was born with a major side effect, contact a qualified Celexa attorney to discuss your legal options.

Potential Celexa Birth Defects

An emerging body of research has identified Celexa use in pregnancy as a possible risk factor for the development of major birth defects among children. According to these studies, women who take Celexa while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of giving birth to children with serious side effects. Among these potential Celexa side effects are birth defects like:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Neural tube birth defects
  • Heart defects
  • Omphalocele
  • Cleft palate
  • Anal atresia
  • Limb defects

Due to the severity of these birth defects, the FDA has advised physicians to carefully consider the possible benefits and potential risks of Celexa treatment before prescribing the drug to women of childbearing age. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, all women of childbearing age taking Celexa may be at risk of unknowingly causing irreversible harm to their unborn child.

Celexa Side Effect Studies and FDA Warnings

In 2006, the FDA issued a public health advisory warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of the birth defect PPHN among children exposed to SSRI drugs like Celexa in utero. This FDA warning was based on the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, in which researchers found a shocking six-fold increased risk of PPHN among children whose mothers took Celexa or another SSRI antidepressant after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The following year, the NEJM published two additional studies in which researchers sought to examine the adverse effects of fetal exposure to SSRI antidepressants like Celexa. According to the first study, women who took an SSRI during the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to give birth to children with birth defects like club foot, anal atresia and limb defects. In the second study, researchers found that exposed children were more than twice as likely to suffer from catastrophic birth defects like craniosynostosis, anencephaly and omphalocele.

Celexa Attorneys for Birth Defects

The birth defects allegedly associated with the antidepressant Celexa are serious and are likely to cause significant pain and suffering for affected children. If you or a loved one has experienced a severe side effect which you believe to be linked to Celexa, contact a Celexa attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse. You may have grounds to file a Celexa lawsuit against Forest Laboratories, in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. Drug companies like Forest are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. With the help of a qualified Celexa attorney, victims of potential Celexa birth defects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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