When you are pregnant, there are many things that you know you have to avoid – like illicit drugs and alcohol. But there are some things that you can still get a prescription for – which you may or may not need to take – which might be a category “C” drug. A category “C” means that a drug has been shown to be harmful in animal studies.
Some medications have been shown to have the potential to cause birth defects in pregnant women, but physicians might still prescribe them to their pregnant patients. When it comes to class “C” drugs, the classification means that there have been studies that indicate that the prescriptions may be harmful to pregnant women – but obviously since testing on real pregnant women would be unethical, the question about whether they really a cause for concern has to remain with what animal studies show.
For any prescribed medication there must be a risk-to-benefit ratio that a doctor should determine before they either recommend or prescribe the medication for a woman of childbearing years.
If you have not told a physician you are pregnant and they prescribe you antidepressants, then that is one scenario. But if your doctor not only knew that you were pregnant but prescribed you an antidepressant without warning you of the potential risks that are associated with antidepressants, then that might be caused to sue your physician as well as the manufacturer of the drug if you have a baby born with a birth defect. There is a clear and present link between pregnant women who take antidepressant medications and birth defects.
Drugs such as Lexapro and Celexa are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that can affect the amount of serotonin production in the brain. That, in turn, manipulates the number of neurotransmitters that are produced and alters the way that the brain both sends and receives messages via neurological pathways.
The job of SSRIs is to increase the amount of serotonin that the brain produces, which is responsible for emotion regulation and mood enhancement. For people with mood disorders, SSRIs might mean the difference between leading productive lives and suffering from severe depression. But they do not come without known side effects and risks.
There are suspicions that Lexapro and Celexa both come with risks of suicidal behaviors, especially in younger populations, which is why any minor who is prescribed them is warned of the mood alterations that can be destructive. For pregnant women, there is evidence that the two medications may lead to devastating birth defects, which is why they come with a warning label that alerts anyone who is pregnant that taking specific antidepressant medications might cause complications.
When you choose to take a medication when you are pregnant, there is a difference between being warned of potential side effects and being made aware that they may cause problems. Obviously, when a medication is prescribed, there needs to be some analysis of benefit to the mother versus risk to the fetus, and for some women who are prone to extreme depression, the benefit of taking antidepressants might outweigh the risks.
Unfortunately for drug manufacturers, even if the patient has been warned of the risks associated with taking antidepressants while pregnant and the effect that they might have on their unborn child has been explained, if they choose to take the medication anyway, the drug company might still be held liable if there are any birth defects.
You can talk to a birth defect lawyer If a drug has been shown to have the risk for birth defects and physicians still prescribe them, even if they explain the potential risk if the baby is affected the physician might still be liable to be sued in court for the child’s defects. If a pregnant patient is given a prescription, regardless of whether they knew the risks and decided to roll the dice or not, there are many people who could be held liable.
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Has this happened to you or someone you love?