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heart defects 90 articles

More Zofran lawsuits filed as drug marketed off-label for morning sickness is linked to birth defects

The Daily Hornet, reporting on Zofran lawsuits, said that experts say that the 265 suits pending in a centralized federal litigation in Massachusetts will likely be transferred to Boston. This was the count as of June 7, but Massachusetts isn’t the only state where Zofran suits are being filed both in state and federal courts. Lawsuits also are still being brought against drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), so the numbers are rising. One such case reported by the Daily Hornet involves plaintiffs who are the parents of twins, both of whom were born diagnosed with heart defects. One twin died from the severity ... Read More

Pfizer fights to squash Zoloft birth defects claims

A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation (MDL) involving alleged birth defects in babies born to women who took the antidepressant Zoloft, emphasized her order to pause activity in the case in light of Pfizer’s emergency motion for a summary judgment based on claims that the plaintiffs do not have admissible and sufficient expert testimony on general causation to support their claims that Zoloft caused heart defects in newborns. Pfizer filed the motion on Dec. 2, after U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe rejected the testimony of plaintiffs’ expert Dr. Nicholas Jewell. Pfizer’s motion claimed that attorneys for the parents ... Read More

Parents lock horns with GSK over Zofran birth defects lawsuits

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline’s motion to dismiss more than 200 birth defects claims with its anti-nausea drug Zofran were met with strong objections from the parents who said animal studies support their allegations that use of the drugs by women during pregnancy can lead to birth defects in their offspring. The families argued to U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV that no discovery has been undertaken in the cases and that GSK would have no control over any relevant evidence of birth defects risks in pregnant women since the drug has never been approved to treat morning sickness. Zofran is approved ... Read More

Older antidepressants Prozac, Paxil linked to birth defects

The antidepressants Prozac and Paxil are more likely to cause birth defects in babies born to women who use the drugs while pregnant than newer antidepressants in the same class, according to a study published recently in the British Medical Journal. Prozac and Paxil are in a class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Makers of these medications face thousands of lawsuits from women who claim they were not warned that using the drugs while pregnant could cause birth defects, including a lung defect known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), heart defects, ... Read More

Judge OKs new expert in Zoloft birth defects lawsuit

U.S. District Judge Synthia Rufe ruled that plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation alleging Zoloft birth defects can introduce a new expert to testify on the association between the antidepressant and cardiac injuries after three others presented by plaintiffs had been excluded by the court for not following proper research methodology. Plaintiffs suing Pfizer will present as a general causation expert witness Nicholas Jewell, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health and its statistics department. Judge Rufe ruled that the evidence Jewell is expected to introduce regarding heart risks with Zoloft are of “critical importance” to the plaintiffs’ ... Read More

Experts worry about skyrocketing prescriptions for antidepressants

The number of prescriptions for antidepressants has reached a record high in the United Kingdom, and experts fear that some people may be unnecessarily exposed to antidepressant side effects. The Health and Social Care Information Centre released the new figures on prescription drugs, which showed antidepressant use had risen by one-third in just a year, and that about four million Britons are taking the drugs each year – twice as many compared to 10 years ago. Representatives from mental health agencies say they worry that people suffering from depression are prescribed drugs as a first-line defense because other forms of ... Read More

Celexa, Lexapro birth defects lawsuits returned to state court

Fifteen lawsuits over birth defects in children born to women who took the antidepressants Celexa or Lexapro while pregnant were remanded to state court, a federal judge in Camden, N.J., ruled. Attorneys for the drugs’ maker Forest Laboratories unsuccessfully argued that federal jurisdiction was proper because there were questions about the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling of the drugs. Defendants’ claims that Forest Research Institute was fraudulently joined as a defendant were rejected as well. The 15 lawsuits are among 20 that were filed in state courts in New Jersey and removed to federal court by the drug companies. ... Read More

New study suggests SSRI use during pregnancy increases risk of autism spectrum disorders in children

Women using antidepressants known as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) during pregnancy may be at higher risk of having children with autism spectrum disorders, according to a new study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Several studies have raised red flags with the use of SSRIs during pregnancy. SSRIs, which include the brand names Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa and Prozac, have been linked to birth defects such as persistent pulmonary hypertension, heart defects, neural tube defects and malformations. Studies have also suggested that children exposed to SSRIs in utero are more likely to have behavioral problems and ... Read More

Study: Children exposed to SSRIs in utero at greater risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes

Babies born to women who took antidepressants while pregnant are more likely to become obese and develop type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Obesity and type 2 diabetes in children is already on the rise in the United States and is generally blamed on poor diets and reduced physical activity. However, researchers with McMaster University say that maternal antidepressant use may also be a contributing factor in the pediatric obesity and diabetes epidemic. The study focused on a commonly prescribed type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, which include the brand names Prozac, Lexapro, ... Read More

Antidepressant use during pregnancy remains controversial issue

A new study suggesting that there is no increased risk of heart defects in newborns exposed to antidepressants in the first three months of gestation is being criticized by medical experts. “While this is an excellent group of researchers, there are some serious flaws with this study,” says Dr. Adam Urato, maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. “This isn’t rocket science. We know that exposing developing babies to synthetic chemicals is almost always a really bad idea and should be avoided whenever possible. This study does nothing to alter that common sense concolusion.” The study, conducted by ... Read More