The link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Lexapro, and a number of serious birth defects was established years ago. A growing number families have already filed individual Lexapro birth defects cases. These drugs are part of a class of antidepressants designed to inhibit the absorption of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood. Doing so helps to minimize symptoms of clinical depression, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, studies have shown that women using SSRIs while pregnant increase the risk their babies will be born with congenital disorders.
A congenital malformation called tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) may present in newborns whose mothers use SSRI drugs during their first three months of pregnancy. It is one of many serious Lexapro heart defects that can endanger the life of a newborn. You’ll learn more about this birth injury below, including how it is resolved.
Tetralogy Of Fallot: Four Heart Lexapro Birth Defects
This disorder involves four distinct malformations of the heart. An infant born with ToF suffers from pulmonary stenosis, right ventricular hypertrophy, a large ventricular septal defect, and an overriding aorta.
Pulmonary stenosis is a condition in which the pulmonary valve (located between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery) is narrowed. Outflow from the chamber is restricted, which prevents blood from reaching the lungs for oxygen.
Right ventricular hypertrophy is a disorder in which the right ventricle is enlarged and thickened. This occurs due to impaired blood flow to the lungs. More stress is placed on the chamber, forcing it to work harder than normal.
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole in the wall that separates the left and right ventricles. The wall normally prevents oxygen-rich blood on the left side from mixing with oxygen-poor blood on the right side. A large VSD allows them to mix.
Lastly, an overriding aorta is a defect in which the aorta, a large artery that normally carries oxygenated blood away from the left ventricle, is connected to both ventricles. Rather than being located to the left of the chambers, the vessel is positioned directly above the VSD.
Common Signs Of The Condition
Sometimes, babies suffering from this Lexapro birth defect show signs of cyanosis immediately after birth. Their skin and fingernails display a bluish tint caused by the lack of oxygen in their bloodstream. The degree of cyanosis is largely dependent on the severity of pulmonary stenosis.
Other times, the baby may not show obvious signs of oxygen deprivation. When this is the case, tetralogy of Fallot is usually diagnosed when the doctor notices a heart murmur. An examination is done after other symptoms, including shortness of breath and irritability, present. In some cases, the infant may sporadically lose consciousness.
Repairing The Infant’s Heart
Open-heart surgery is necessary to correct the defects that make up tetralogy of Fallot. First, the surgeon will widen the narrowed pulmonary valve, or replace the valve if it is severely compromised. If the outflow path from the right ventricle is narrowed, it too is widened.
Second, the ventricular septal defect is corrected with a synthetic patch. The patch covers the hole in the wall, and prevents blood in the right and left ventricles from mixing together.
Repairing the narrowed pulmonary valve and VSD will correct the right ventricular hypertrophy, and address the overriding aorta. The right ventricle, no longer burdened with the extra workload, will eventually return to its normal size. Meanwhile, the patch placed on the VSD ensures that only oxygenated blood from the left ventricle is allowed to flow into the aorta.
Left untreated, tetralogy of Fallot usually leads to serious complications later in life. The child may experience stroke due to blood clots that travel to the brain. There is also an increased risk of pulmonary embolism and recurrent bacterial endocarditis. If a baby does not receive treatment for this heart problem related to Lexapro and birth defects, he or she is likely to die by age 20.
If you used this SSRI drug during pregnancy, and your baby was born with any Lexapro birth defects, you may have the right to file a claim against the manufacturer. Contact an experienced Lexapro lawsuit settlements attorney to discuss your options. There is a limited time for filing Lexapro birth defects cases. Please contact us at your earliest convenience.
Making A Difference
We believe that the manufacturer of Lexapro should be held accountable for any harm they are legally responsible for and people should be fairly compensated for their damages due to Lexapro birth defects side effects. Many families and their child have had their life changed in a number of ways due to Lexapro and birth defects including... find out more
Requesting a free legal consultation does not create an attorney-client relationship and you are not considered a client until a representation agreement has been signed and your case has been accepted.
Lexapro Birth Defects Lawsuit
Lexapro birth defects lawsuit claims continue to be filed by families affected by Lexapro birth defects. Lexapro is a type of antidepressant that targets certain chemicals to balance them in the brain... find out more