Lexapro Lawsuit Class Action
The FDA warned in 2005 that taking SSRI antidepressants comparable to Lexapro during early pregnancy could result in babies developing one or more congenital heart disorders. There currently is no national Lexapro lawsuit class action covering all cases and individual Lexapro lawuit claims are being filed on behalf of families with a child affected by taking this medication during pregnancy. The agency’s warning stemmed from a review of data from two separate studies. Results from both studies showed that the most common type of heart condition was a septal defect. This is a hole that appears in the wall of tissue (septum) separating the right and left chambers of the heart. Such holes are among the many Lexapro birth defects that can develop when babies are exposed to the drug in the womb. They can cause serious complications and health problems later in life.
When a hole appears in the part of the septum that separates the atria (upper chambers of the heart), it is called an atrial septal defect (ASD). A hole that appears between the ventricles (lower chambers) is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Below, we’ll focus on the latter, and describe the serious health issues it can cause. If your baby was born with a VSD after prenatal exposure to Lexapro, you may be able to file a Lexapro lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer.
Failure To Thrive
Ventricular septal defects allow oxygen-rich blood in the left ventricle to flow into the right ventricle, where it mixes with oxygen-depleted blood. If the disorder is left untreated, it can cause numerous side effects.
For example, an infant suffering from a VSD may lack the ability to eat enough to meet her body’s demands for energy. This will cause her to lose weight. If the problem continues, her development will be severely impaired to the point that she is much smaller than babies or children of the same age. Both physical and mental skills are likely to be affected.
Blood Clots And Stroke
Babies with large VSDs are more likely to develop blood clots. Clotting can occur when the defect disrupts the heart’s electrical system, triggering an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). Arrhythmias affect the manner in which the heart’s chambers contract and expand; they can prevent them from pumping out blood effectively. Residual blood may start to pool inside the chambers, leading to the formation of clots.
Once clots form in the heart, they can be pumped outward to the aorta. From there, they can migrate to the brain and cause a stroke.
Infants born with a ventricular septal defect are more susceptible to endocarditis, a bacterial infection that affects the heart chambers and valves. Most cases of the infection are caused by bacteria found in the mouth.
When a baby (or any person) is healthy, bacteria that find their way into the heart are promptly cleared away by the continuous, one-way flow of blood. However, with a VSD, the abnormal blood flow between the ventricles may allow the bacteria to remain in the chambers. Since the heart valves do not receive their own blood supply, the immune system is unable to fight bacteria that gather around them. The result is infective endocarditis.
A VSD usually results in blood moving from the left ventricle to the right ventricle rather than in the opposite direction. This increases the amount of blood that is pumped to the lungs. It also raises the blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, a condition called pulmonary hypertension. The pressure can cause permanent scarring in the lung tissue.
In most cases, pulmonary hypertension can be avoided if the ventricular septal defect is resolved soon after birth.
An untreated VSD that has caused high blood pressure in the pulmonary vessels can affect the heart’s ability to meet the body’s demands. As pressure in the pulmonary arteries rises, the right ventricle is forced to work harder to pump blood against the resistance. The chamber will grow larger and thicker at first to absorb the extra strain. However, the ventricle can eventually tire out, causing heart failure.
Ventricular septal defects that close on their own, or are treated during infancy, rarely pose serious problems later in life. But without surgical repair, a large VSD can become life-threatening. If you used Lexapro while pregnant, and have a child who was born with a heart defect, you may be eligible to file a Lexapro lawsuit. Contact a Lexapro lawsuit settlements attorney to discuss your case. We are representing individual families in filing lawsuits and there is no Lexapro lawsuit class action that covers all cases in the United States.