HAVE YOU BEEN HARMED AFTER TAKING LEXAPRO?
Lexapro (escitalopram oxalate) is a common antidepressant medication prescribed in the United States. Manufactured by Forest Pharmaceuticals and available on the market beginning in 1997, escitalopram is prescribed to individuals suffering from major depressive disorder, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Millions of Americans have used Lexapro for treatment over the past two decades.
The antidepressant falls into the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. SSRIs like Lexapro work by blocking the reabsorption of serotonin, increasing the overall level of serotonin in the brain as well as mood and happiness. Unfortunately, many side effects — minor and serious — can be attributed to SSRI antidepressants.
Minor side effects of Lexapro include:
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased sweating
- Trouble breathing
- Sexual dysfunction
- Joint pain
- Chest tightness
- Dry mouth
If you suffer from the following side effects, seek medical attention or talk to your doctor immediately. Lexapro’s serious side effects include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Muscle pain
Similar to other SSRIs, there are also side effects that could cause severe, life-altering illness and injury, including serotonin syndrome, heart problems, and birth defects.
LINK BETWEEN SUICIDALITY AND LEXAPRO
SSRI antidepressants, including Lexapro, must include a black box warning on the drug’s label indicating the link between increased suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults. These individuals are especially vulnerable in the first few months of treatment or when the dosage has been altered. People taking Lexapro are urged to watch for new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, thoughts, or feelings.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or a loved one taking Lexapro, it may be time to speak with your physician.
WHAT CAUSES SEROTONIN SYNDROME?
Serotonin syndrome is a condition caused by too much serotonin in the brain and is often attributed to the use of SSRIs. Side effects associated with serotonin syndrome include:
- Increased heartbeat
- High or low blood pressure
- Muscle twitching
- Overactive reflexes
In addition, serotonin syndrome can prove to be fatal. If you are taking Lexapro and exhibit any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
BIRTH DEFECTS CAUSED BY LEXAPRO AND SSRIs
Some studies have suggested that SSRIs like Lexapro may cause birth defects and problems in newborn children of women taking these drugs during pregnancy. Babies have developed complications including prolonged hospitalization, respiratory problems, and tube feeding immediately following delivery.
Newborns have also exhibited symptoms consistent with a direct toxic effect of SSRIs due to drug discontinuation syndrome or serotonin syndrome. Several studies have shown that newborns are at an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), which causes an abnormal flow of blood through the heart and lungs. In some cases, PPHN can lead to death. Physicians are urged to weigh the risks and benefits of a patient using a SSRI during pregnancy, especially in the late third trimester.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DANGEROUS DRUG INJURY LAWYER
If you or a loved one have been harmed after taking Lexapro, contact Thomas J. Henry. Whether you suffered from symptoms of serotonin syndrome or gave birth to a child with birth defects while taking Lexapro, we are here to help you. Our experienced dangerous drug lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case. You may be entitled to compensation for you or your child’s injuries or illnesses.