SSRI Antidepressant PPHN Lawsuits Supported by New Study

Harvey Kirk

By Harvey Kirk
Posted January 23, 2012


The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent children throughout the United States who are pursuing a PPHN lawsuit after they were born with a rare condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN) after their mother was given Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac or another SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy. A new study published this month provides further support for the connection between SSRI antidepressants and PPHN.

According to research published in the British Medical Journal, about one out of every 500 mothers who take an antidepressant during pregnancy that belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotoninin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may give birth to a child with PPHN. Although the study does not establish causation, this is much higher than the PPHN rate among women who suffer depression during pregnancy but take nothing.

In December, the FDA issued an announcement that raised questions about the potential link between persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN) and SSRI antidepressants. The FDA indicated that conflicting findings from studies make it unclear whether the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy can cause PPHN.

In this latest study, researchers evaluated data on more than 1 million births from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. Although the risk of PPHN from SSRI antidepressants was rare, researchers found that 0.2% of mothers who took the medications during pregnancy gave birth to children with PPHN.

In cases of PPHN from SSRI antidepressants, the blood vessels leading to the infant’s lungs fail to expand as they normally should. This causes insufficient blood flow to the baby’s lungs. Symptoms may include rapid breathing, blue skin color, a weak pulse or severe respiratory distress. Treatment often involves the use of a ventilator or, in more extreme cases, a respirator.


The SSRI antidepressant birth defect lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. provide free consultations and case evaluations for parents of children diagnosed with PPHN, which may have been caused by a medication given to the mother during pregnancy. As a result of the drug makers’ failure to adequately research the side effects of their medication or warn women given the drugs, compensation may be available through PPHN lawsuit.

If your child or a family member has been diagnosed with PPHN after Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac or another SSRI antidepressant was used during pregnancy, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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