You have struggled with mild depressive episodes throughout your life, so when you got pregnant, you worried about how it would affect you. You asked if your medications could impact your child’s health, and your doctor told you not to worry.
You took a high dose of your medications throughout the pregnancy despite the fact that the medication you were on could cause a higher risk of birth defects in your child. During your pregnancy, no one told you to worry. No one suggested taking medications that were known to be safer or to stop taking the medications you were on.
It is known that using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors can cause the risk of certain birth defects to increase by around two to three times. Some possible birth defects linked to some of these drugs include:
- Anencephaly, when the brain and skull has defects
- Atrial septal defects, a kind of heart defect
- Omphalocele, a defect of the abdominal wall
- Gastroschisis, a defect of the abdominal wall
- Craniosynostosis, a skill defect
One drug in particular, paroxetine, is linked to anecephaly, omphalocele and gastroschisis. Fluoxetine is linked to heart defects as well as craniosynostosis.
It’s important to note that not all SSRIs have been linked to birth defects, but if you’re on one that has been, you should have had a solid discussion with your medical provider about the risks. If the risks were not discussed with you and your child has birth defects as a result, it may be a situation in which you can file a claim for medical malpractice.