One of the hardest parts of dealing with injuries and damages caused by prescription medications is the difficulty in obtaining evidence sufficient evidence to convince people that you have a legitimate case. One reason for this is that all prescription medication have risks and benefits and you need to prove there were risks that the drug manufacturer knew about that were not disclosed to doctors and the public. Then there’s the long process of verifying your medical history, getting information together, finding a representative you can trust, getting the case ready for trial and trying the case if it cannot be settled.
All of this, of course, takes time, but gradually such dangerous medicines begin to develop a history and track record that’s hard to ignore. For example, consider the history of the troubled antidepressant category known as SSRIs. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors regulate mood by preventing the brain from re-absorbing serotonin, which results in generally “good” feelings.
These drugs, such as SSRI poster child Paxil, have been known since 2005 to be associated with the development of birth defects. These defects have included such phenomena as malformed hearts and heads, brain and spinal cord deformities, clubbed foot and partial or complete closure of the anus. Though they vary in severity, each of these defects has serious implications for a child affected by them. These defects led the FDA in 2005 to rate Paxil and other SSRIs with a category D pregnancy warning.
In 2006, the FDA further required SSRI manufacturers to provide labeling warning about Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), a disorder in which children cannot properly breathe.
Other studies have looked back at previous data; one analyzed children born between 1997 and 2004. Of the approximately 12,000 babies examined, more than half had been born with a heart defect. Of those with such defects, a significant number had been exposed to SSRIs while their mothers were pregnant.
So while people might feel hesitant about seeking help, it should be noted that these medicines often do have a track record, and there is information out there that will continue to build up over time.