What is Lexapro?
Lexapro (escitalopram) is an orally-administered medication that is used to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. It works by inhibiting the neural reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in moods and emotions.
Forest Laboratories and Lundbeck are facing numerous Lexapro lawsuits from women who allege the popular antidepressant can cause severe birth defects. Plaintiffs accuse the pharmaceutical companies of ignoring studies linking the drug to an increased risk of cardiac defects and marketing Lexapro as “safe and effective” for pregnant women. Lexapro has never been approved for use in pregnant women. Many women say they never would have taken Lexapro during pregnancy if drug-makers had provided sufficient warnings about the risk of birth defects.
Lexapro and Pregnancy
Lexapro is classified as Pregnancy Category C. In animal studies, Lexapro was shown to cause adverse effects on a developing fetus. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. Doctors may prescribe Lexapro to a pregnant woman if they agree that the benefits for the mother outweigh any risks to her baby.
One of the most common side effects of taking Lexapro during pregnancy is neonatal withdrawal syndrome, which is estimated to affect one in three babies exposed to Lexapro during the third trimester. Symptoms of this disorder include agitation, restlessness, poor feeding, low body temperature, convulsions or seizures, and high-pitched crying that lasts 3 hours or more.
Lexapro and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
In 2006, the FDA published a Safety Communication to warn about the risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) from Lexapro. Researchers found that women who took SSRI antidepressants after the 20th week of pregnancy were six-times more likely to have a baby with PPHN.
Numerically, researchers estimated that 6-12 babies per 1,000 exposed to Lexapro could have PPHN. Unfortunately, this life-threatening lung defect deadly in about 10% of cases. Babies with PPHN fail to breathe independently soon after birth, causing extremely low oxygen.
Lexapro Birth Defects
- Heart defects
- Atrial Septal Defect
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Neural tube defects
- Spina bifida
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Diaphragmatic Hernia
- Neonatal withdrawal syndrome
- And more
Do I have a Lexapro Class Action Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Lexapro lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Lexapro Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one had a baby with a birth defect caused by Lexapro, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by joining a Lexapro class action lawsuit, and our lawyers can help.