Celexa, manufactured by Forest Laboratories, along with Cipramil, Emocal, Sepram, Seropram, has been linked to serious, life-threatening birth defects.
Approved by the FDA in 1998, Celexa is used by millions of Americans for anxiety and depression. The FDA is strengthening its warning for the antidepressant Celexa because it may be associated with birth defects, specifically, congenital heart defects, Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), abdominal and cranial defects.
UPDATE: Celexa Lawsuit filed for Child’s Heart Defect
July 7, 2014 — Courthouse News reports that a federal judge has allowed a lawsuit to proceed against Forest Laboratories on behalf of a child who was born with severe birth defects. The girl was born in July 2011 with severe heart defects (atrioventricular canal defects). Click here to read more.
April 29, 2014 — The use of high-dose antidepressants in children aged 10-24 has been linked to at least a doubled increased risk of deliberate self-harm (suicidal) behavior, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Click here to read more.
Febraury 27, 2014 — Celexa linked to higher cardiovascular risks and decline in cognitive function when doses above 30-mg per day are used to treat patients with Alzheimer’s. The use of Celexa was shown to sedate patients, which is increasingly being seen as a form of nursing home abuse. Click here to read more.
January 30, 2013 — Study links Celexa to life-threatening irregular heart rhythm. Click here to read more.
October 19, 2012 — A new study has linked Celexa to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, bleeding in the brain, and stroke. This increased risk could be especially significant for people with risk factors for bleeding, such as those taking blood-thinning medications (like Pradaxa or warfarin). Click here to read more.
Celexa Class Action Lawsuit Information
March 14, 2014 – Forest Laboratories, Inc., the manufacturer of Celexa, will pay at least $7.7 million and as much as $10.4 million to resolve a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) on behalf of Missouri residents who were misled into buying Celexa for children although it was only approved for adults, according to Law360.
What is the problem with Celexa?
Celexa is used by millions of Americans to treat depression. More specifically, pregnant women have been prescribed Celexa to help with anxiety involved with their pregnancy. The fetuses of these women using Celexa or other SSRI antidepressants such as Paxil, Lexapro, Prozac, Symbyax, and Zoloft are at a greater risk of developing a birth defect.
The two most common forms of an SSRI antidepressant congenital heart defect are atrial septal defects or ventricular septal defects. Atrial septal defect (ASD) is a form of congenital heart defect that enables blood flow between the left and right atria via the interatrial septum. There is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart that allows for this blood flow exchange. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is when there is a large opening between the ventricles allowing a large amount of oxygen-rich blood from the heart’s left side through the defect on the right side. It is then pumped back into the lungs, even though it has been oxygenated. This is wasteful, since blood that’s already been to the lungs is returning there, and blood that needs to go to the lungs is being displaced. The heart, which has to pump an extra amount of blood, is overworked and may enlarge.
The results of the study have shown that babies born to mothers who took Celexa were more likely to develop Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), than babies born to mothers who did not take Celexa during pregnancy. PPHN is failure of the normal circulatory transition that occurs after birth. It is a syndrome characterized by marked pulmonary hypertension that causes hypoxemia and right-to-left extrapulmonary shunting of blood. With inadequate pulmonary perfusion, neonates develop refractory hypoxemia, respiratory distress, and acidosis.
SSRI antidepressants like Celexa may cause two separate congenital abnormalities called Omphalocele and Craniosynostosis. An omphalocele is a congenital (present at birth) abdominal wall birth defect in which the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs stick out of the belly button (navel). In babies with an omphalocele, the intestines are covered only by a thin layer of tissue and can be easily seen. Craniosynostosis is a congenital (present at birth) defect that causes one or more sutures on a baby’s head to close earlier than normal. Sutures are connections that separate each individual skull bones. The early closing of a suture leads to an abnormally shaped head.