Going through a pregnancy can be both a joyous and emotional time for most expectant mothers. The hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can lead to women experiencing a low mood for prolonged amounts of time, and it has been reported that one in four women in the United States will suffer from depression at some point in their pregnancy.
One could presume that pregnant women should take antidepressant medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in order to improve their mental health during this difficult time. However, many studies have detected a link between the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy and birth defects in infants.
What kinds of birth defects have studies linked with prenatal SSRI consumption?
Some studies have found a possible link between SSRI use during pregnancy and holes in the heart, abdominal defects, skull defects, lung problems and club feet. While significant links have been found, causation has been questioned by other studies. Some studies suggest that perhaps environmental factors that are linked with the propensity to take antidepressants, such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, could be the culprits in regard to causation. Antidepressants have also been linked with an increased risk of the mother giving birth to a child who goes on to develop Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Was my doctor negligent in prescribing me with SSRIs?
Doctors need to balance the potential risk of SSRI drugs for pregnant mothers and their infants with the danger of depression. The doctor's decision to prescribe SSRI drugs is only negligent in certain situations. If the depression is very mild, prescribing SSRI drugs to expectant mothers may be deemed negligent in hindsight.
Should I have been warned about the risks of the drug I was prescribed?
Many drug companies have been subject to lawsuits from consumers because they failed to provide adequate warnings regarding the potential dangers of the drug. If you were given no warning about the potential dangers of the drug and your child suffered a birth defect, you may be able to take legal action.
If your child is suffering from a birth defect, it is important that you look into the possible reasons why this happened. By understanding the law in New York, you may be able to successfully engage in a medical malpractice claim.