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Antidepressant Drugs

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Antidepressants During Pregnancy

Antidepressant use during pregnancy side effects have possibly been linked to birth defects such as PPHN, heart defects, and other major congenial malformations and defects.  Contact an antidepressant lawsuit attorney if you have been affected.

Major depressive disorder, more commonly called depression, is a debilitating mental disorder which affects approximately 18.8 million Americans in any given year, a number which represents about 9.5% of the U.S. population ages eighteen and older. Depression is believed to be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, and is typically characterized by feelings of loss, anger, sadness, or frustration, which can significantly interfere with everyday life for a long period of time. Individuals suffering from depression lose interest in the things that used to make them happy, and may experience changes in behavior and attitude, as well as sleeping and eating habits. Some people with depression also experience excessive agitation or irritability, difficulty concentrating, and even thoughts of death or suicide. In order to alleviate the symptoms of major depressive disorder, as well as other mood and panic disorders, many physicians prescribe antidepressant medications to individuals struggling with these conditions. Unfortunately, recent antidepressant side effect research has suggested that women who take antidepressant drugs while pregnant may significantly increase their risk of giving birth to infants with major birth defects.

Types of Antidepressant Drugs During Pregnancy

Antidepressants are prescription medications prescribed to individuals suffering from depression and other mood disorders. These drugs increase the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain which control mood and other functions like pain, eating, sleeping and thinking, and are also necessary for normal brain function. The most common types of antidepressant drugs include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI)

SSRI antidepressants were initially developed as a treatment method for major depressive disorder, but are now commonly used for additional purposes like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bulimia nervosa. These drugs function by blocking the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin. By balancing the level of serotonin in the brain, SSRIs help brain cells send and receive chemical messages, which can relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Some of the most common types of SSRI antidepressants include:

Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRI)

SNRI antidepressants were developed more recently than SSRIs. The drugs were originally approved for the treatment of major depressive disorder, but are now commonly used for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder and other off-label purposes like obsessive-compulsive disorder and chronic pain. These drugs function by increasing the levels of two neurotransmitters in the brain that can affect mood, serotonin and norepinephrine. By changes the levels of these naturally occurring brain chemicals, brain cells are, again, better able to send and receive messages which can boost an individual's mood. Some of the SNRI antidepressants which are most commonly prescribed include:

Antidepressant Use and Pregnancy

The FDA has labeled many SSRI and SNRI antidepressant drugs as pregnancy category C or D medications, which means the drugs have the potential to cause significant, unreasonable harm to a human fetus due to antidepressant use during pregnancy. Extensive research has supported this claim, including studies published in credible medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine. If you are currently taking an antidepressant medication and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician as soon as possible. It is never advised to discontinue use of a prescription medication without medical consent, but with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer alternative for treating your medical condition. The FDA has encouraged patients and healthcare providers to carefully consider all aspects of antidepressant treatment before making any decisions to continue or discontinue use of an antidepressant drug. In the meantime, the FDA has advised health professionals to avoid prescribing certain antidepressant medications to pregnant women unless all other treatment options have failed or the possible benefits of the treatment justify the potential risks to the fetus.

An Antidepressant Birth Defect Attorney Can Help

If you or a loved one has suffered from a antidepressant birth defect which you believe to be related to the use of an antidepressant during pregnancy, contact an antidepressant and pregnancy attorney immediately to discuss your legal options. You are not at fault for your injuries and you may have grounds to file an antidepressant lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing the potentially defective drug. The goal of antidepressant lawsuits and potential antidepressant class action lawsuits is to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering incurred by you and your family. Defective drug lawsuits also bring public attention to the importance of safe medications and the need for more strict regulations on the potentially dangerous drugs already on the market.

Birth Defects From Antidepressants

Most consumers understand that few drugs are 100% safe, but they also expect to be notified of any adverse antidepressant side effects they may risk by taking their prescription medications. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturing companies intentionally withhold this information in order to prevent any negative consequences, including a recall. This puts consumers unknowingly at risk of suffering serious injuries which could have been avoided had the appropriate steps been taken by the pharmaceutical company. If you have been injured by a potentially defective antidepressant drug during pregnancy, the only way to protect your rights and stand up to the allegedly deceptive practices of big drug companies is to hire an antidepressant lawyer to represent your case.

Tell Family And Friends

Spread the word so women are aware of the risks for both anticonvulsant birth defects and antidepressant birth defects and so families dealing with the hardship and expenses of lifetime care can get financial help from experienced class action attorneys. Learn more about Side Effects from prescription drugs.

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Potential antidepressant side effects associated with antidepressant use and pregnancy:

Antidepressant drugs that are under investigation by lawyers regarding their use while pregnant and birth defects:

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