sampleThe Doyle Law Firm is now accepting clients who have claims involving Prozac, a drug for the treatment of depression, OCD, panic attacks, social anxiety disorders, and PTSD. Recent studies have established that Prozac and other SSRI medications are linked to birth defects when the mother was taking the drug during pregnancy. Prozac is manufactured by global health care company Eli Lilly & Company, Inc.

Prozac®, generically known as fluoxetine hydrochloride, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressant. Prozac affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms. Prozac is used to treat major depressive disorder, bulimia nervosa (an eating disorder) obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Prozac is sometimes used together with another medication called olanzapine (Zyprexa) to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder (manic depression). This combination is also used to treat depression after at least 2 other medications have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.

Prozac is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug, meaning that it selectively affects serotonin. Serotonin is one of many chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which pass messages between nerve cells, and has recently been linked in various studies to an increased risk of birth defects. Recent studies have shown that serotonin, even during the first trimester of pregnancy, helps to shape the basic brian function that will be applied to learning and emoting later in life.

Baby born with a birth defect after your Prozac use during pregnancy? Call Doyle Law at (205) 533-9500. A birth defect Law Firm.

Prozac Side Effects

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially placed SSRI antidepressants, including Prozac, in its pregnancy "Category C," which means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus. However, there have not yet been adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. Pregnancy categories measure the teratogenic effects a drug has on a fetus. Teratogenic means that a drug or other substance is capable of interfering with the development of a fetus, so there could be serious risks to the unborn baby of a woman taking Prozac while pregnant.

Birth defects or conditions that may be associated with the use of Prozac include:

  • Abdominal wall defects (infant omphalocele)
  • Anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus)
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Cardiovascular defects
  • Skull defect (craniosynostosis)
  • Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)

Autism and Antidepressants

The Archive of General Psychiatry published a report in July of 2011 linking SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac to a potentially increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in babies born to mothers who took these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Performed by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California, the population-based, case-control study compared a group of 298 children having varying degrees of autism and their mothers to another group of 1,507 randomly selected children and their mothers. Nearly 70 children from each group were exposed to antidepressants in the same class as Prozac, and the researchers found a possible connection between mothers who took these drugs within a year before delivery and an increased the risk of their babies being born with ASDs. The highest risk was found to be among those whose mothers took these drugs during the first trimester.

Dangers of Prozac

Although Prozac had shown significant promise in treating multiple disorders, complaints have surfaced over time related to the use of Prozac during pregnancy. Of course, some side effects can be expected from the use of powerful medications like Prozac; however, the issues cited by some Prozac users have been far more serious than the mild side effects outlined in the drug’s labeling.

Most notably, women who used Prozac during pregnancy began to show extremely high rates of serious birth defects, like cleft lip and cleft palate in their children. Such a warning is nowhere to be found in the label, which raises serious questions about the testing and scientific research Eli Lilly undertook during product development. And, when Eli Lilly rushed this drug through the FDA to the marketplace, it is likely that they disregarded scientific consensus about SSRI effects - in order to make a hefty profit.

Prozac Information

Prozac (Fluoxetine) was first documented in 1974 by scientists from Eli Lilly and Company. It was presented to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 1977, with Eli Lilly receiving final approval to market the drug in December 1987. Fluoxetine went off-patent in August 2001. Since that time, generic versions of the drug have been available in the U.S. marketplace.

In 1988, Prozac was the first SSRI to reach the market in the United States. According to Eli Lilly, Prozac was both safe and effective. However, Prozac soon came under fire for increasing the risk of suicidal thoughts. By the early 1990's lawsuits began to be filed by the parents and families of teenagers who killed themselves while taking Prozac. Currently Prozac carries a "black box" warning about the risk associated with the use of Prozac and suicidal thinking and behavior.

Now, in addition to causing adolescents to commit suicide, Prozac is now also linked to major birth defects. A recent study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology in November 2008 by Orna Diav-Citrin of The Israeli Teratogen Information Service found a four-fold increased risk of cardiovascular defects in infants born to mothers who took the Prozac (fluoxetine).

In addition to heart defects, Prozac has also been linked to Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is a life-threatening disorder in which the newborn's arteries to the lungs remain constricted after delivery, limiting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and therefore the amount of oxygen into the bloodstream. Ten percent to 20 percent of infants with PPHN will end up dying even if they receive treatment.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) by Christina Chambers of the University of California, San Diego, found a six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH) in infants born to mothers who took an antidepressant in the last trimester of pregnancy. On July 19, 2006, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory for Prozac and several other antidepressants based on this study.

Contact Prozac Birth Defect Attorneys at Doyle Law Firm - Birmingham, Alabama

Alabama Prozac Lawsuits and Legal Representation

The Prozac injury lawyers at the Doyle Law Firm, PC have a proven track record of success in helping our clients obtain compensation for injuries resulting from the use of dangerous medications.

Our experienced team of legal professionals and Alabama Prozac Injury Attorneys have been helping dangerous drug injury victims for years. We are dedicated to achieving real justice and the best possible recovery for each and every one of our clients.

Contact Alabama Prozac Injury Attorneys

Filing a Prozac lawsuit can help patients and their families affected by the defective medications recover the financial compensation necessary to pay for expensive treatment and long term care. If you took Prozac or generic fluoxetine during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect - we encourage you to contact us online immediately. Or, you can call our Birmingham, Alabama, offices today for a free consultation. Our office number is 205.533.9500. Do not wait another day and risk losing your claim.

Alabama has a two year statute of limitations on filing certain product liability and personal injury claims. It takes time to acquire medical records and draft pleadings, so please do not delay in contacting us if you have any concern that your femur fracture may have been caused by Prozac.