Lexapro is the trade name for escitalopram, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug prescribed to treat clinical depression and general anxiety disorder. Please contact us for the latest Lexapro lawsuit 2012 news. SSRIs have been reported to increase the risk of several serious birth defects when women use them during pregnancy. Babies may be born with disorders affecting their skulls, abdominal organs, spine, and heart. While no Lexapro class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S., many women have begun to file individual claims against the manufacturer.
When SSRI antidepressants are taken during the first trimester – a time when the fetal heart is forming – they can cause numerous heart defects. When they are taken after the twentieth week, they can affect pulmonary circulation. The FDA issued a warning in 2006 regarding this latter risk. Women using SSRIs at this stage of their pregnancy were six times more likely to have babies suffering from a condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). We’ll explain how Lexapro and PPHN side effects are treated below.
Lexapro And Birth Defects – PPHN
In the womb, the majority of the fetus’s blood bypasses the lungs. The placenta provides oxygen for the baby’s body, and thus the lungs are unnecessary for the task. A fetal shunt called the ductus arteriosus connects the pulmonary artery to the aortic arch. As a result, blood pumped from the right ventricle (lower chamber of the heart) flows from the pulmonary artery to the aorta, and outward to the body.
Immediately following birth, the baby’s lungs begin to expand in order to take over the task of gas exchange. The ductus arteriosus closes over the following two to three weeks.
In a baby born with persistent pulmonary hypertension, the fetal shunt remains open. As a result, a substantial portion of right ventricular output fails to reach the lungs to pick up oxygen. The deoxygenated blood instead flows directly to the body. A lack of oxygen in the baby’s blood will usually present symptoms shortly after birth. Cyanosis, rapid breathing, and signs of respiratory distress will display based on the severity of the defect.
Delivery Of 100% Oxygen To The Baby
The first step doctors take is to deliver 100% oxygen to the baby’s lungs. This may be done via an oxygen mask or with the help of a mechanical ventilator. The latter approach involves introducing a tube into the newborn’s windpipe as the ventilator takes over the task of breathing for the baby.
These measures can help to relax the pulmonary arteries, thus improving blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs. However, results may be limited if the persistent (patent) ductus arteriosus is large.
Nitric Oxide For Arterial Dilation
Severe cases of Lexapro birth defects involving PPHN may warrant introducing a small amount of nitric oxide to the baby’s lungs. This is accomplished via inhalation. The gas is usually added to the oxygen that is delivered through the oxygen mask or mechanical ventilation.
Nitric oxide has been shown to be effective in relaxing the blood vessels of the lungs. The goal is to dilate the vessels, thereby allowing more oxygen-poor blood to reach the lungs.
Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)
When 100% oxygen delivery and inhalation of nitric oxide fails to raise the oxygen level in the baby’s blood supply, a last-resort treatment option called ECMO is used. The baby’s blood is sent through a machine similar to a cardiopulmonary bypass (heart-lung) machine. The blood is pumped through a component called a membrane oxygenator, which extracts carbon dioxide and adds oxygen. The newly-oxygenated blood is then sent back to the baby’s body.
ECMO can save the life of an infant with PPHN that fails to respond to other treatment options. However, it poses serious risks, including hemorrhage.
Treatment for Lexapro and birth defects involving PPHN side effects should begin as soon as the condition is detected. If the patent ductus arteriosus is large, the baby’s oxygen supply can drop to the point that damage to major organs can occur.
Lexapro Lawsuit 2012 Help
If your baby is suffering from problems that resulted from Lexapro birth defects, such as persistent pulmonary hypertension, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact a Lexapro lawsuit settlements lawyer to discuss your case.
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