Antidepressants & SSRIs
HAVE YOU BEEN INJURED DUE TO AN ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATION?
Since the late 1980s, the use of antidepressant medications has skyrocketed in the United States. Health statisticians claim that approximately one out of every ten people in America are using pharmaceutical drugs to help combat their depression. Critics claim that antidepressants are overprescribed to the public, but proponents say that depression is finally getting the attention it deserves, and medication is a great help in combating the disease.
Unfortunately, like many pharmaceutical drugs, antidepressants have dangerous side effects, despite receiving approval from the FDA. Common side effects of antidepressant medications include:
- Weight gain
- Dry mouth
A certain type of antidepressant — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) — has been linked to very serious side effects, including an increased risk of birth defects in newborn children, complications during pregnancy, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behaviors.
WHAT ARE SELECTIVE SEROTONIN REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SSRIs)?
SSRIs are a class of antidepressant that helps correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. This class of drug blocks the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, which causes humans to feel happy and positive. Many of the most prescribed antidepressants on the market in the United States are SSRIs, including:
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANTS?
One of the biggest dangers of antidepressants and SSRIs is serotonin syndrome. The potentially life-threatening condition occurs when your body as too high of a level of serotonin, which is often caused by an antidepressant medication. Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Serotonin syndrome can be deadly if left untreated.
SSRIs, like other antidepressant drugs, increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in children, teenagers, and young adults. Consumers of SSRIs and other antidepressants are advised to watch for new or sudden mood changes or other behavior changes.
A unique risk that SSRIs pose to pregnant women is an increased risk of severe birth defects. Unborn children exposed to SSRIs while in the womb may be at an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), serotonin syndrome, and other severe birth injuries — especially heart and cardiac problems.
WHAT ARE SEROTONIN-NOREPINEPHRINE REUPTAKE INHIBITORS (SNRIs)?
Similar to SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) block the reuptake, or reabsorption, of norepinephrine in addition to serotonin in the brain. Cymbalta and Effexor are examples of SNRIs available on the market.
These drugs can pose similar hazards to consumers and have their own list of side effects, including:
- Excessive sweating
- Loss of appetite
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DANGEROUS DRUG ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one were harmed after taking an antidepressant medication, you may be entitled to compensation. Pharmaceutical litigation is oftentimes complicated, but our drug lawyers are equipped with experience and the legal resources necessary to take on the pharmaceutical companies. Thomas J. Henry will fight on your behalf and help you and your family receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you suffered from a severe side effect after taking an SSRI or your child was born with a defect after taking an antidepressant during your pregnancy, our attorneys are available 24/7 to hear your story and evaluate your claim.