Prozac and Anal Atresia Side Effects

Anal atresia birth defects and Prozac use during pregnancy may be linked and Prozac attorneys are filing lawsuits for affected families.  Contact a Prozac lawyer if your child was born with potential Prozac birth defects.


Recent studies have indicated that SSRI antidepressants like Prozac may no longer be considered safe, especially in treating pregnant women, due to the risk of serious side effects among children exposed to the drug in utero. Eli Lilly and Company's Prozac (fluoxetine) has been available in the U.S. since 1987, and has since been FDA-approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Prozac belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and functions by restoring the level of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling mood. By doing so, Prozac and other SSRI drugs can effectively relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Unfortunately, research has indicated that Prozac and other SSRI antidepressants may be linked to major side effects, including the development of life-altering birth defects like anal atresia among children exposed to Prozac side effects in pregnancy. If you took Prozac while pregnant and your child was born with a birth defect like anal atresia, contact a Prozac attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Anal Atresia Symptoms

Anal atresia is a malformation present at birth in which the opening to the anus is blocked or missing altogether. Anal atresia is a type of birth defect, caused by the failure of the child's internal structures to develop properly in utero. In some cases of anal atresia, the rectum may end in a blind pouch that doesn't connect to the colon, or it may have openings to the urethra, bladder, vagina, or base of the penis. Common symptoms of anal atresia are:

  • Swollen abdomen
  • Failure to pass stool within 24-48 hours after birth
  • Stool passing from the vagina, urethra, scrotum or base of the penis
  • Missing or misplaced opening to the anus

Anal Atresia Treatment and Complications

Proper treatment for anal atresia typically involves surgery to correct the defect and to repair any other organs affected by the malformation. Unfortunately, many children born with anal atresia suffer from additional birth defects, such as neural tube defects, particularly those affecting the spine, genitals and urinary tract, which can cause further difficulties for affected children. With surgery, most children with this birth defect make a full recovery. However, some children may never regain full bowel control, and others may struggle with side effects like intestinal blockage and constipation.

FDA Warnings and Prozac Side Effect Studies

In 2006, the FDA issued a public health advisory warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of a serious birth defect called PPHN among children exposed to SSRI antidepressants like Prozac in pregnancy. This FDA notice was issued in response to the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, in which researchers found an alarming six-times increased risk of PPHN in children whose mothers took Prozac or another SSRI antidepressant after the twentieth week of pregnancy. In 2007, the NEJM published two additional studies as researchers attempted to evaluate the adverse side effects of fetal exposure to SSRI antidepressants like Prozac. According to one study, infants born to women who took an SSRI like Prozac during the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop birth defects like anal atresia, limb defects and club foot.

Prozac and Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Prozac as a pregnancy category C medication, which means it may cause serious fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Prozac and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider immediately. It is never advised to discontinue a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Prozac for treating your condition.

Prozac Attorneys for Anal Atresia Side Effects

Although anal atresia can typically be treated successfully with surgery, some children born with this birth defect are plagued with complications for the remainder of their lives. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect, and you believe Prozac to be the cause, contact a Prozac attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a Prozac lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company. Drug companies like Eli Lilly 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. In fact, some pharmaceutical companies intentionally conceal the more serious side effects of their medications in order to make their product more appealing to the public, thereby exposing millions of consumers to unnecessary harm. By hiring an experienced Prozac lawyer, victims of potential Prozac birth defects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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