The Drug Lexapro and Birth Defects

Lexapro (escitalopram), manufactured by Forest Laboratories, is an antidepressant classified as a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI). It’s a popular drug used to treat adults for anxiety syndromes and depression.

When women take the drug while pregnant, they run the risk of giving birth to a child with birth defects. These may include congenital birth defects such as:

Atrial septal defects
This is a condition known as hole in the heart which allows oxygen-rich blood to leak into the blood chambers in the heart. ASD is a defect in the septum, which separates the heart's left and right sides.

Congenital heart defects
This is a general term for any condition that results from the heart or blood vessels near the heart not developing normally before birth.

Craniosynostosis, or synostosis, is the early fusion of two or more bones of the skull. A newborn's skull is made up of many different bones that are not fused together at birth, which is important to allow the brain to grow.

This condition is a birth defect of the abdominal wall. A newborn’s intestines, liver or other organs stick outside of the belly through the belly button instead of going back into the stomach.

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
PPHN is described as the failure of normal circulatory transition after a child’s birth. It is a syndrome characterized by marked pulmonary hypertension and it causes hypoxemia and right-to-left intracardiac shunting of blood.

Ventricular septal defects
This is one of the most common congenital heart defects, described as a hole in the wall that separates the right and left ventricles of the heart—similar to atrial.

Even more dangerous is the risk for women who breastfed their newborns while pregnant. Lexapro can pass through breast milk to the baby and result in additional birth defects and health concerns. Plus, it has been reported that newborns who were exposed to Lexapro in the womb have suffered from withdrawal symptons. This is due to halted exposure to the antidepressant drug.

When a newborn is affected by any of these conditions due to the mother taking Lexapro during pregnancy in the state of Massachusetts, the manufacturer may be held responsible and required to pay for any damages and medical costs incurred as a result.

Have you or a loved one given birth to an effected newborn after taking Lexapro? Contact the Law Office of Frank Fernandez in Boston. Fernandez has years of experience in helping families recover funds that are rightfully theirs because of these birth defects. He can help you understand your rights and the potential compensation you may be entitled to. Call the Law Office of Frank Fernandez today at 617-393-0250 or fill out our online form.