What is Lexapro?
Lexapro, or escitalopram, is a type of prescription antidepressant medicine called a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). SSRIs work by treating chemical imbalances in the brain and increasing serotonin, a substance found in the brain that controls moods. Other popular varieties of SSRIs include: Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, Celexa, to name a few. Lexapro is currently used for to treat major depressive disorder (depression) in adults and teenagers, as well as generalized anxiety disorder in adults. Lexapro is taken once per day, and has been prescribed to more than 18 million adults in the United States.
Lexapro Birth Defect Side Effects
Because Lexapro and other SSRI antidepressant medications cross the placenta, it is possible for them to adversely affect a baby during fetal development. One of the most common manifestations of this is the occurance of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) in babies born to women who have taken SSRI antidepressants during their pregnancies. Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension is characterized by high pressure in the lungs and an inability to obtain proper oxygen levels in the blood. Although PPHN is a very rarely occurring congenital lung condition, it is six times more likely to occur when a mother has taken an SSRI after week 20 of pregnancy, than in mothers who have not taken an antidepressant at any time during their pregnancy. Other birth defects associated with Lexapro and SSRIs include: congenital heart defects, autism spectrum disorders, club foot/bilateral club feet, limb reduction, cranial skull defects, spina bifida, omphalocele, and others. The severity and frequency of these Lexapro birth defect side effects has resulted in the pursuit of litigation against the maker of these SSRI medications.
Lexapro FDA Pregnancy Warning
The FDA characterizes escitalopram (Lexapro) as a “Category C” drug for pregnancy and breastfeeding. This means that they advise that Lexapro should only be taken during pregnancy if the benefits to the mother offset the potential damages to the baby. However, Lexapro may cause extreme side effects and congenital birth defects when used during pregnancy, especially during the final three months. This drug can also cause adverse effects when transmitted from mother to child via breastfeeding.
Lexapro Side Effects Lawsuits
As of now, hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against the makers of SSRI antidepressants (including Lexapro) seeking reimbursement for injuries resulting from taking these medications. Lexapro lawsuits typically are filed because the patient was not given full disclosure of all potential side-effects prior to prescription and ingestion of the medication.
Talk to a Lexapro Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one took Lexapro or other SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy and had a child born with any of the previously listed birth defects or medical conditions, please call the lawyer immediately.