Prozac has been found to possibly cause severe birth defects when used in pregnancy and Prozac attorneys are filing lawsuits on behalf of affected families.  If your family has been affected by Prozac side effects, contact a qualified Prozac attorney to discuss your legal options.

Researchers have found a possible link between the use of SSRI antidepressant drugs like Prozac and the development of severe potential Prozac side effects, namely an increased risk of major birth defects among children exposed to the drug during pregnancy. Prozac is one of a group of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which function by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain, thereby relieving depression and improving certain mood disorders. Prozac (fluoxetine) was approved by the FDA in 1987 and has since been prescribed to patients suffering from major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and bulimia nervosa. Prozac is currently manufactured by Eli Lilly and Company, and was the third most commonly prescribed antidepressant as of 2007, with 22.2 million prescriptions filled.

Although Prozac was marketed by Eli Lilly as the first SSRI antidepressant drug, three other SSRI medications actually preceded the development of Prozac. Two of these SSRIs were withdrawn due to adverse side effects and Eli Lilly went to great lengths to ensure that Prozac was perceived by consumers as a scientific breakthrough. Unfortunately, recent Prozac side effect studies have indicated that SSRI drugs like Prozac may actually be associated with a significantly increased risk of serious birth defects among infants exposed to the drugs during pregnancy. If you or a loved one has suffered from a potential Prozac side effect, contact a Prozac attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Potential Prozac Birth Defects

According to recent studies, women who take SSRI antidepressants like Prozac during pregnancy may have a substantially increased risk of giving birth to children with one or more serious birth defects. Among the birth defects potentially associated with Prozac are:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
  • Neural tube defects
  • Heart defects
  • Anal atresia
  • Limb defects
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Omphalocele

Due to the severity of these alleged Prozac side effects, the FDA has advised healthcare providers to avoid prescribing Prozac to pregnant women or women of childbearing age unless the possible benefits of the treatment outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.

Prozac Side Effect Studies and FDA Warnings

In 2006, the FDA issued a public health advisory warning patients and physicians about the increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) among infants exposed to SSRI antidepressants like Prozac in utero. PPHN is a severe heart and lung condition in which an infant's circulation continues to bypass the lungs after birth, preventing the rest of the body from receiving the oxygen it needs to survive. This FDA warning was based upon information provided by a 2006 New England Journal of Medicine Study in which researchers found a shocking six-times increased risk of heart defects like PPHN among infants exposed to SSRIs like Prozac after the twentieth week of pregnancy.

In 1996, the British Medical Journal published a study in which researchers found an increased risk of minor birth defects among infants exposed to Prozac during the third trimester of pregnancy. Researchers from the University of California indicated that three or more minor abnormalities occurred in 15.5% of infants whose mothers took Prozac while pregnant, compared to the rate of birth defects among the control group, which was only 6.5%. In 2007, the NEJM published two additional studies in which researchers sought to examine the adverse side effects of fetal exposure to SSRIs like Prozac. According to the first study, infants exposed to an SSRI like Prozac during the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to be born with birth defects like anal atresia, limb defects and club foot. The second study suggested that infants whose mothers took an SSRI like Prozac while pregnant were more than twice as likely to develop devastating birth defects like omphalocele, anencephaly and craniosynostosis.

Prozac Use in Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Prozac as a pregnancy category C medication, which means it has the potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Prozac and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician to discuss alternative treatment options. You should never stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with the help of your doctor, you may be able to find a safer way to treat your medical condition.

Prozac Attorneys for Side Effects

The side effects potentially associated with Prozac use during pregnancy are serious and may significantly alter the rest of an affected child's life. If you or a loved one has suffered from a serious side effect which you believe to be linked to Prozac, contact a Prozac attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Prozac lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company, in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Drug companies are responsible for the safety and effectiveness 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. By hiring a Prozac lawyer to represent their case, victims of potential Prozac side effects can protect themselves from further harm and bring public attention to the potentially harmful nature of the antidepressant Prozac.

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