Thursday, December 25, 2008

Birth Defects and SSRIs—How's a Mother to Know?

In 2006, Elissa's doctor prescribed Cymbalta to help with her depression. Shortly after starting on the antidepressant Elissa became pregnant. On her doctor's advice she continued taking Cymbalta. But it soon became apparent her baby was developing life-threatening defects.

"I had my first ultrasound at 3 months," Elissa said. "That's when I found out something wasn't right. The doctor explained that my baby appeared to have a heart defect, a hole in her heart. Shortly after Elissa's baby girl was born, prematurely, the infant had to undergo heart surgery to repair the damage that could have been induced by the antidepressant. But Elissa was not aware of the association between SSRIs—or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors—and birth defects.


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