The Drug Celexa and Birth Defects

Celexa (citalopram) is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) and is used as an antidepressant medication. Unfortunately, there have been many reports of adverse side effects such as birth defects. Babies born by mothers on Celexa during pregnancy have developed persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), atrial septal defects, and ventricular septal defects.

PPHN is a condition which causes a baby’s circulatory system to malfunction and prevents the body from receiving the proper amount of oxygen it needs. This causes organs to not work properly.

Atrial septal defects, otherwise known as holes in the heart, also negatively affect the heart and circulatory system of newborns. A common result of the condition is perforated septum which separates the heart’s two chambers. This causes blood to ripple back and forth between the chambers.

Ventricular septal defects are similar to atrial septal defects except they can also lead to a bacterial infection called endocarditis.

Other conditions caused by Celexa include:

  • Anal atresia (imperforate anus)
  • Atrial enlargement
  • Cleft lip
  • Club foot
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Congenital heart defect (CHD)
  • Cranial birth defects
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Epispadias
  • Gastrointestinal malformations (GI tract)
  • Gastroschisis
  • Heart malformations
  • Hypoplastic right/left heart syndrome
  • Hypospadias
  • Limb reduction defects
  • Neural tube defect
  • Omphalocele (abdominal malformations)
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
  • Pierre Robin sequence
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Tetrology of fallot
  • Transposition of great arteries (TGA)
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Undescended testes

These conditions have been so commonly reported for birth defects, that the FDA had to take action and classify Celexa as a Pregnancy C drug. This means that women who take the drug during pregnancy are at a higher risk for giving birth to a newborn with birth defects.

If you or a loved one has taken Celexa while pregnant and has given birth to a newborn with birth defects, you may have the right to seek compensation for damages, pain and suffering and any incurred medical costs. It’s important to understand that Forest Laboratories, the maker of Celexa, must be held reliable for its drug causing any of the aforementioned side effects in a baby. You have legal rights in the state of Massachusetts and the Law Office of Frank Fernandez can help you determine if you have a case against the manufacturer.

Contact Frank Fernandez today if you think your or a loved one’s newborn has been affected by the drug.