Cincinnati, Ohio Pharmaceutical Recall Attorney reviews SSRI Antidepressant Injury Risks for plaintiffs nationwide
Antidepressants are some of the most popular drugs prescribed in the United States with over 100 million individual antidepressant prescriptions written each year. The usage of antidepressants has tripled over the last few decades.
It is commonly argued that this class of drugs is overprescribed, particularly for young adolescents. Obviously these medications are very effective for many depressed patients, but the drugs are associated with many serious side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the public and physicians of the dangers posed by SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), and has added Black Box Warnings to the drug labels in years past. Commonly used anti-depression medications include the following brand names:
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Pexeva (paroxetine)
- Brisdelle (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Luvox (fluvoxamine)
- Sarafem (fluoxetine)
How do Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Work?
Antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) work to balance the chemicals in the brain, and are commonly used to treat depression and other psychological and anxiety disorders.
Serotonin in the brain is a neurotransmitter thought to affect a person’s mood, sleep, and ability to learn. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression. An SSRI enables serotonin to remain active and allows it to be properly absorbed by nerves.
Some medical experts believe that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin, which pave the way for huge sales of SSRIs such as Paxil, Zoloft, and Prozac. Doctors debate, however, that the benefits always outweigh the possible risks of taking these drugs for long periods of time.
SSRI Antidepressant Injury & Side Effects
Some antidepressants have serious health risks. Discuss these risks with your doctor. Some of the potential risks are listed below. Side effects that are commonly associated with antidepressants include the following:
- Increased anxiety
- Problems with digestion
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle spasms / twitching
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Irritability and aggression
SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
In 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggested that makers of all antidepressant medications update the existing the warning labels on their products to discuss increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior in young adults. In 2007, the FDA requested that the warning be extended to include young adults through age 24.
Some antidepressant medications might also harm a fetus if taken during pregnancy. In 2005, the FDA warned that women who take SSRIs while pregnant are in danger of suffering from pregnancy complications and having children suffer from serious birth injuries, such as heart defects and premature birth.
One of the birth defects associated with the use of SSRI medications is coarctation (narrowing) of the child’s aorta. When the aorta is not fully developed, as is the case in babies born with coarctation of the aorta, the heart may have difficulty providing the body with enough oxygen to function.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists further possible birth defects linked to SSRIs:
- Craniosynostosis—a birth defect of a baby’s skull
- Anencephaly—a birth defect of a baby’s brain and skull
- Atrial septal defects—a type of heart defect
- Heart defects with obstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract
- Gastroschisis—a birth defect of the abdominal wall
- Omphalocele—another type of birth defect of the abdominal wall
If you or a loved one has suffered an SSRI antidepressant injury, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding SSRI antidepressant injury risks.