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Consumer Protection and Product Recalls

Medications Taken During Pregnancy May Cause Birth Defects

{ Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Paxil, Topamax, Celexa, Lexapro and Zofran }

Most prescription medications are clearly labeled to indicate whether they may be used safely by pregnant women. Unfortunately, that is not always the case.  attorneys have been the leaders in the fight for families who have children born with defects caused by a prescription medication that was not properly labeled. Improperly labeled drugs that have been linked to birth defects include:

Zofran® - This anti-nausea medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline has been prescribed to millions of women suffering the effects of morning sickness. While not approved for morning sickness, the label indicates that it is safe for use by pregnant women. Studies have indicated that is not the case, however, linking Zofran® with cardiovascular deformities and cleft palate.

Zoloft®, Effexor® Prozac®, Paxil®, and Celexa® / Lexapro®- These antidepressants are part of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSRI & SNRI). They have been prescribed to millions of women during pregnancy. Multiple studies have shown that these drugs are linked to a potentially increased risk of serious birth defects in babies, ranging from skull defects to cleft lip/palate to life threatening heart defects.

Topamax® and Depakote®- these anti-seizure medications have also been linked to serious birth defects. Topamax® has been linked to cleft lip/palate and Depokote® has been linked to neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Johnson & Johnson, the maker of Topamax®, has recently settled dozens of birth defect claims that were scheduled for trial in Philadelphia state court, which indicates that plaintiffs in those cases can successfully prove that the drug maker should be held liable.

Attorneys are leading the fight for justice for victims of these medications. Both the Zoloft® and Effexor® litigations have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) and transferred to a federal court in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for further proceedings. The MDL court has appointed two partners (Bryan and Jason Richards) to the Plaintiff’s Steering Committees in the Zoloft® and Effexor® litigations, meaning  will be leading the fight for claimants from around the country. 

If you were taking any of these medications while pregnant, there is a possibility that your child’s birth defect was caused by the drug – even if you stopped taking it once you found out you were pregnant.


David Williams