Birth defects lawsuits filed against makers of antidepressant Lexapro

Three new lawsuits have been filed against the makers of the antidepressant Lexapro by women who claim that using the drug during pregnancy caused them to deliver babies with various birth defects including spina bifida and club foot.

Lexapro is in a class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other drugs in this class include the brand names Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. SSRIs are among the most prescribed medications in the country and have been considered relatively safe to use during pregnancy because there were no tests that suggested the drugs could cause problems in developing fetuses.

However, new studies have positively linked Paxil to birth defects, in particular a type of lung defect known as persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). And new information suggests Zoloft may be just as dangerous. Both drugs have resulted in lawsuits from women who allege the drug companies knew of the risks associated with their antidepressants but failed to warn doctors or patients.

Now the makers of Lexapro are under the gun for the same problems. The three lawsuits allege that taking Lexapro during pregnancy caused their children to be born with birth defects, and that the drug’s manufacturer, Forest Labs, knew of the risks but promoted its use to women of childbearing age, including expectant mothers.

“In flagrant and conscious disregard and indifference, Forest Defendants have denied publicly that any connection between Lexapro and birth defects exists, and have failed utterly to take any measures whatsoever to alert the public, the prescribing physicians, and the patients who take it, of the incipient dangers associated with Lexapro,” the suits state.


PAXIL and PAXIL CR are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. ZOLOFT is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. Lexapro® is a registered trademark of Forest Labs. PROZAC®is a registered trademark of Eli Lily and Company.

Source: Madison Record