A birth injury attorney in Cleveland can help if you are considering pursuing a claim if your child was born with heart birth defects and you suspect Celexa. This is a medication prescribed to treat depression. It is a type of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI for short.
A lawyer can help you determine if you have a valid claim and if a standard of care was not properly followed. Compensation could be available for the medical costs and any future treatment. There may be other damages available as well.
Birth Defects and Celexa
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Celexa may cause heart defects or lung problems in babies if taken by the mother in the last three months of pregnancy. Women may also be advised against taking the medication while they are breastfeeding. Warnings indicate that women who are pregnant or who become pregnant while taking the drug should inform their doctor.
It is a Pregnancy Category C drug according to the FDA, which means that evidence regarding the drug’s effects when taken during pregnancy is lacking. A chance of injury or defect may exist, although for some women the risks may be outweighed by the benefits of taking the drug.
Doctors should discuss the risks associated with Celexa as well as the medication’s potential benefits with their patients before prescribing it. If your healthcare provider failed to do so, it may be determined that a standard of care was not properly followed. In such a case, the doctor may be held liable if your child experienced injuries associated the medication.
Birth Side Effects Associated with Celexa
Some newborn babies whose mother was taking this medication late in the last trimester may experience symptoms or complications that require medical care.
Some of the complications reported in newborns include:
- respiratory distress;
- problems with feeding;
- hypo/hypertonia; and
- irritability and constant crying.
The Mayo Clinic describes some research as associating use of this medication with potential heart defects related to the septum of the heart. This is a structure in the heart that divides its two sides, i.e. right from left.
The article also notes some research that points to potential for a rare lung problem called persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). The lungs may not receive enough blood, as blood flow may resemble that of a fetus. In this case, a lot of the blood in the body may bypass the lungs.
Symptoms of this condition may include rapid breathing or heart rate, and low blood oxygen even when receiving 100 percent oxygen. Babies with the condition may appear bluish in color (cyanosis), and may appear to be sick shortly after birth.
Birth defects or injuries may prove difficult for families who are affected. Some babies may require additional medical care; some babies who were exposed to citalopram (Celexa) late in pregnancy have required hospitalization, breathing assistance, and a feeding tube.
The potential for significant medical bills makes speaking with a lawyer important if you suspect your child’s injuries or defects are the result of medical malpractice associated with a medication during pregnancy.
Seeking Help from a Birth Injury Attorney
Doctors are expected to follow an accepted standard in providing care to their patients. This often includes reviewing the risks and benefits of a treatment or medication so patients may make an informed decision as to whether they wish to take the medication. If this standard was not followed and injuries or defects resulted, a claim may be pursued.
Consult with an attorney at The Becker Law Firm to review your case and determine if your claim is legitimate. Call (440) 252-4399 to schedule your free initial consultation with a birth injury attorney in Cleveland.