Research Options Before Taking Drugs While Pregnant

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Actress Amanda Seyfried delivered a beautiful baby girl in March 2017, a cause for celebration for her fans and the paparazzi looking to take pictures of the actress’s child. As a celebrity, interest was already high in the pregnancy and birth, but Ms. Seyfried attracted additional attention by admitting to on a podcast that she took her antidepressant, Lexapro, during the pregnancy.

Lexapro has been associated with a variety of birth defects, including:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Craniosynostosis, characterized by the development of abnormal facial features
  • Abdominal organs protruding through the belly button
  • A variety of congenital malformations, including congenital heart defects, deviated septum, clubfoot, and spinal bifida

The number and severity of birth defects caused by Lexapro have led most physicians to strongly advise against its use during pregnancy. Ms. Seyfried made clear during the interview that she used only a small dosage of the drug, and that she and her doctor believed the likelihood of birth defect was very small.

Making informed choices regarding healthcare is a right in America, but drawing the line between informed and uninformed can be extremely difficult. Sufficient research is rarely available to clearly define safe dosages of many drugs, in part because continuing to prescribe those medications after they have been shown to be harmful is irresponsible. Though Ms. Seyfried’s baby appears to be healthy, one healthy baby is not “proof” that even low dosages of Lexapro are safe.

If you or your child has suffered due to side effects from a Lexapro prescription, there is help available. An experienced attorney can help you determine how to proceed. Holding accountable the maker and marketers of defective drugs is the best way to prevent other families from suffering like yours has.