Antidepressant Birth Defects

Since September 2005, information has been emerging that certain antidepressants may cause birth defects, including cardiac defects (heart), pulmonary defects (lung), neural-tube defects (brain and spinal cord), craniosynostosis (skull defect), infant omphalocele (abdominal wall defects), club foot (one or both feet turn downward and inward), and anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus), among others. We are currently investigating whether or not the following also cause such antidepressant birth defects:

  • Celexa manufactured by Forest Labs
  • Lexapro manufactured by Forest Labs

Read Stories About Some of the Families We Represent

Mothers who have taken antidepressants during their pregnancy because they thought it was safe have given birth to babies with birth defects ranging from cleft lip to life-threatening congenital heart defects and, in some cases, the babies have been required to get full heart transplants.

 Our Antidepressant Birth Defects Experience

Through our litigation and consultation with medical experts, we are establishing the link between antidepressants and the following congenital defects:

Nicole K. H. Maldonado, Legal advocate for families

Read Stories About Some of the Families We Represent

“Most of us go through life not knowing the challenges that other families face. For instance, having a daughter with several birth defects is mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Society has judged our family because of her disabilities instead of sympathizing the challenges we face daily. It wasn’t until we found Baum Hedlund Law Firm and Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson that we realized our voice would be heard.”

Heart-Related Antidepressant Birth Defects: The FDA issued a Public Health Advisory on December 8, 2005 based on U.S. and Swedish studies showing that exposure to certain antidepressants in the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of heart birth defects. Most of the cardiac defects observed in these studies were atrial or ventricular septal defects, conditions in which the wall between the right and left sides of the heart is not completely developed.

PPHN: Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) is a serious and life-threatening lung condition that occurs soon after birth of the newborn. Babies with PPHN have high pressure in their lung blood vessels and are not able to get enough oxygen into their bloodstream. About 1 to 2 babies per 1000 babies born in the U.S. develop PPHN shortly after birth, and often they need intensive medical care.


On July 19, 2006, the FDA issued a Public Health Advisory for SSRIs, including Celexa (citalopram), Fluvoxamine, Lexapro (escitalopram), Symbyax (olanzapine and fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline) based on a study that suggests there may be additional risks of SSRI medications during pregnancy. In this study, PPHN (Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn) was six times more common in babies whose mothers took an SSRI antidepressant after the 20th week of the pregnancy compared to babies whose mothers did not take an antidepressant.

Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman is working to prosecute the firms’ antidepressant birth defects and PPHN cases, and is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America®, a registered trademark of Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC.

Baum Hedlund has been representing families in antidepressant birth defects cases since 2006.We have many years of experience handling pharmaceutical product liability, mass tort litigation and consumer class actions against major drug companies, and have been representing families in antidepressant birth defects cases since 2006. Anyone in need of an antidepressant birth defects lawyer should contact us for a free, no obligation consultation.

“The law firm has been professional and compassionate in every aspect of our case. Whenever we had questions they provided us with an answer. Although the law firm represents hundreds or thousands of individuals, I always felt the small town feeling. Where everyone knows your name and every detail of your life. If you find yourself reading this because you’re looking for representation, then look no further than Baum Hedlund Law Firm or Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson and their team of professionals.” J.H.