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Concerns Raised About Antidepressant Connection to Child Autism

According to a new story from Focus News, observers are again issuing warnings to women everywhere about the dangerous effect that certain medications may have on the development of their children. As our Chicago birth injury attorneys have frequently shared, antidepressants have been the particular focus of many who have concerns about the effect that the drugs might have when taken by pregnant women. Specifically, studies have already shown that the problem may lead to heart defects in babies, and now some are speculating that the drugs may also increase the risk of children suffering from autism.

Historically, a string of birth injuries have long been linked to the taking of certain medications during pregnancy. Many heart and lung problems are caused by prescription drugs that enter the mother’s bloodstream and affect the child. However, new evidence continues to come out suggesting drugs that are still used by pregnant woman today may actually pose dangerously high risks of causing complications. Antidepressants are the latest targets.

Since 2005 studies have shown that use of certain antidepressants during childbirth leads to birthing problems. For one thing, heart problems are more prevalent in children born to mothers who have taken selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These include popular drugs like Zoloft and Paxil. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actually issued a Public Health Advisory on that very topic more than six years ago. The warning was made following the publication of a variety of studies which found that a mother’s exposure to these drugs, particularly in the first and third trimesters, may lead to atrial and ventricular septal heart defects. These are developmental problems caused by problems with the development of the heart wall.

It wasn’t long after the SSRI advisory was issued discussing heart problems that another warning was made pertaining to antidepressant drug use. This time researchers had found that the drug use led to significant increase in a child developing a condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension. Only this summer even more troubling research was published. An Archives of General Psychiatry article found a link between SSRI use and the development of autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, the researchers found that the autism risk doubled when the mother had taken antidepressant in the previous twelve months.

Whenever a child is born with abnormalities or ailments, parents begin wondering what caused their child’s problems. Our Chicago injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti know that in many cases, when the root causes of the problems are properly investigated, the misconduct of others is at least a partial cause. Occasionally it is caused by a medical team that improperly responded to an emergency birth or fails to notice signs of fetal distress. At other times the problem could be rooted in actions in the pregnancy itself, such as a mother being given drugs that involved parties (the drugs companies or doctors) should have know presented dangerous risks. If you suspect that a root cause of your own child’s problems is related to others’ misconduct, give our Chicago birth injury lawyer to learn how we can help.

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See Our Related Blog Posts:

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