SSRIs During Pregnancy Now Linked to Autism

By July 17, 2014Dangerous Drugs

The risks of SSRI use during pregnancy has been well-established by research, including a New England Journal of Medicine study showing a significant increase in the chances of a child being born with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Now, however, new research from Johns Hopkins shows that parents who used antidepressant drugs during pregnancy may have another concern.  The research suggests a possible link between SSRI exposure in utero and the development of autism. 

If your family was affected by SSRI birth defects or complications, it is important that you understand your legal rights. An experienced St. Louis defective drug lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe can help you to take legal action so you can obtain compensation for damages and losses. Call today to speak with a member of our legal team and to learn more about how we can represent you in your defective drug claim.

SSRIs and the Risk of Autism

According to Science Daily, Johns Hopkins researchers studied nearly 1,000 children with typical development, with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and with other developmental delays.   The majority of the children in the study happened to be boys.

The research revealed that the boys who had been exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy had a significantly greater likelihood of both autism and developmental delays than children whose parents did not take SSRIs.  Among children on the autism spectrum, three times as many had been exposed to SSRIs prior to birth than those children who had normal development.  When exposure to antidepressants occurred during the first trimester of fetal development, the child was at greatest risk for autism while exposure during the third trimester was more likely to result in developmental delays.

Autism spectrum disorder is already more common in boys than in girls.  Around one child out of every 68 in the United States will develop a disorder on the autism spectrum, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that ASD occurs five times more among boys.   Unfortunately, the use of SSRIs may exacerbate this problem, leaving many more children with lasting damage from exposure to the drugs.

When a medication causes birth defects or other unexpected harm, parents can pursue legal action to recover compensation for their children and families. To be able to obtain compensation for damages, parents must be able to prove that the medication was the direct cause of the harm. It is often challenging to demonstrate that a drug was the reason that a medical condition developed, and this will be the case in situations where SSRIs caused autism to occur. However, medical studies and expert testimonies can help affected families to make a strong case for compensation.

If you or a loved one experienced SSRI birth defects, it is important you are represented by an experienced attorney who has a history of success in defective product cases. Call Carey, Danis & Lowe today to speak with a St. Louis defective drug lawyer and learn how we can represent you in a defective drug claim.

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