Understanding SSRI Risks in Pregnancy
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of medications used to treat depression, anxiety, and other conditions. While SSRIs are a commonly-used group of medications and offer benefits for many patients, like all medications, they come with risks. Some of these risks can lead to serious injury or even death if they are not watched carefully.
In 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a statement warning that SSRI use during pregnancy may contribute to a condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is a rare heart and lung condition that prevents a newborn from adapting to breathing air after birth. Infants with PPHN often need intensive care and may suffer serious organ or brain damage or even death.
Although no recalls of SSRIs based on PPHN risks have yet been issued, the FDA cautioned doctors and patients to carefully consider the risks and benefits of using SSRIs to treat depression during pregnancy, especially in light of studies linking PPHN and other serious conditions to SSRI use. Patients are reminded to tell doctors if they are planning to become pregnant or believe they are pregnant, so that SSRIs and other medications can be adjusted to protect the health of the developing fetus. Since stopping SSRIs can be difficult, plans should be made to taper off the medication safely under a doctor’s supervision before pregnancy, if possible.
If you’ve been injured by an SSRI medication, please don’t hesitate to call John Page, an aggressive Missouri SSRI injury attorney and Illinois personal injury attorney, for a free and confidential consultation about your legal rights. Call (314) 322-8515 today to learn more.