Prozac and Craniosynostosis Side Effects

Craniosynostosis and Prozac side effects when used during pregnancy have been possibly linked and Prozac lawyers are filing lawsuits on behalf of affected families.  Contact an attorney if your family has been affected by potential Prozac birth defects.

Researchers have identified Prozac use in pregnancy as a potential risk factor for serious Prozac side effects, including the development of major birth defects in children exposed to the drug in utero. Eli Lilly and Company's antidepressant drug Prozac has been available in the U.S. since 1987, and has since been approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prozac (fluoxetine) belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which function by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain. By doing so, Prozac and other SSRIs can effectively relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Unfortunately, recent research has indicated that these drugs may be linked to life-altering side effects, especially when taken during pregnancy. If you took Prozac while pregnant and your child was born with a serious side effect or Prozac birth defect, contact a Prozac attorney to discuss your legal options.

Craniosynostosis Symptoms

Craniosynostosis is a type of cranial birth defect characterized by the premature closure of the sutures on an infant's head. Cranial sutures are the joints separating different sections of the skull, and are responsible for the elasticity of the cranium during childhood. When one or more cranial sutures close prematurely, that part of the skull is no longer able to expand to accommodate normal brain growth, and the result is an abnormally-shaped head. Other craniosynostosis symptoms include the absence of the fontanelle (soft spot on the head), a raised hard ridge along the affected sutures, and a lack of increase in head size over time. There are several different types of craniosynostosis, named for the type of sutures involved.

  • Frontal plagiocephaly – involves the closure of one side of the suture that runs from ear to ear on top of the head
  • Sagittal synostosis – affects the main suture on top of the head
  • Metopic synostosis – involves the suture closest to the forehead

Craniosynostosis Treatment and Complications

Treatment for craniosynostosis involves reconstructive surgery to repair the affected sutures and reverse the side effects of the malformation. Surgery is typically performed in infancy and is intended to improve the appearance of the child's head, to relieve any pressure on the brain, and to create space in the skull to allow for future brain growth. Without treatment, craniosynostosis can lead to significant complications, including seizures, developmental delay and increased intracranial pressure.

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 birth defect known as PPHN in children exposed to SSRI antidepressants like Prozac in pregnancy. This FDA warning was based on the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study published earlier that year, in which researchers found a shocking six-times increased risk of the side effect PPHN in newborns whose mothers took an SSRI like Prozac after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The following year, the NEJM published two additional studies in which researchers sought to examine the potential adverse effects of fetal exposure to Prozac and other SSRI drugs. According to one study, children born to women who took an SSRI while pregnant were more than twice as likely to develop major birth defects like craniosynostosis, anencephaly and omphalocele.

Prozac Use in 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 to discuss alternative treatment options. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, but with your doctor's help you may be able to find a safer way to treat your condition.

Prozac Attorneys for Craniosynostosis Side Effects

Consumers expect their prescription drugs to effectively treat their conditions without causing them any unnecessary harm. Unfortunately, there are some medications on the market associated with side effects so severe that they may actually outweigh any possible benefits of the treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered from a potential Prozac side effect, contact a qualified Prozac attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Prozac lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses associated with treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. With the help of an experienced Prozac lawyer, you can protect your rights and hold the allegedly negligent drug company liable for your injuries.

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