Call Today for a FREE Confidential Case Review
Toll-Free 24/7 (866) 920-0753

Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy Linked to PPHN


January 16, 2014 — The British Medical Journal has published a study linking the use of antidepressants late in pregnancy to a 2.5-fold increased risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), a rare but life-threatening birth defect of the lungs.

The Canadian research team looked at data from seven different studies and concluded that first-trimester exposure to antidepressants was not associated with PPHN. However, the incidence of PPHN increased significantly in babies exposed during the third trimester.

Even so, researchers cautioned that the absolute risk was low:

“The absolute risk difference for development of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn after exposure to SSRIs in late pregnancy was 2.9 to 3.5 per 1000 infants; therefore an estimated 286 to 351 women would need to be treated with an SSRI in late pregnancy to result in an average of one additional case of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.”

The study adds to a growing body of research linking PPHN to antidepressants in the SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) class. These drugs include Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, and more.

The FDA originally warned about the risk in 2006, after a study linked the use of SSRIs to a 6-fold increased risk of PPHN. However, the FDA backtracked in 2011 after additional studies were published with conflicting results about the risk of PPHN.

Free Case Evaluation

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading plaintiffs' law firms and handles cases in all 50 states. We are very proud of our legal achievements, but equally self-respecting of our firm's reputation for providing personal attention to each and every client we represent.

No matter what type of case you have, you may contact us with confidence by filling out the email contact form below or calling us directly by dialing toll free 24 hrs/day (866) 920-0753.