Antidepressants Linked to Autism
Written by Faith Anderson on May 2, 2013
Possible Side Effects of Antidepressant Drugs
In the new study, published April 19 in the British Medical Journal, researchers from the U.K. identified a connection between parental depression, antidepressant use and a risk of autism spectrum disorders among children. During the study, researchers examined data on 4,429 cases of autism spectrum disorder and more than 40,000 controls, concluding that women who took any antidepressant drug while pregnant were about twice as likely to give birth to a child that would later test on the autism spectrum. According to the analysis, antidepressant use in pregnancy may account for 0.6% of all cases of autism; in other words, approximately one out of every 167 children with autism was likely exposed to antidepressants in utero.
Link Between Antidepressants and Birth Defects
The BMJ study is at least the second to draw a connection between antidepressant medications and autism. In July 2011, researchers from Kaiser Permanente reported that the use of SSRI antidepressants was associated with twice the risk of giving birth to an autistic child, similar to the findings of this latest study. In addition to autism, many of the most popular antidepressant drugs have also been associated with a risk of major health problems for children exposed to the medications in pregnancy, including birth defects like spina bifida, skull malformations, neural tube defects, heart defects and other potentially life-threatening injuries. Recent studies have also indicated that antidepressant use in pregnancy may increase an exposed child’s risk of seizure disorders and delay cognitive development.
Contact an Experienced Attorney for Legal Help
In recent years, an increasing number of lawsuits have been filed in courts throughout the United States, on behalf of children born with birth defects after being exposed to Paxil side effects and other antidepressant drugs in utero. The complaints allege that the drug manufacturing companies failed to adequately research the risks associated with the use of antidepressants in pregnancy, or provide adequate warnings to women about the risk of becoming pregnant while using the medications. If your child was born with a devastating birth defect or has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and you believe an antidepressant medication to be the cause, consult a knowledgeable lawyer in your area for legal help. With an experienced attorney on your side, you can seek compensation for your child’s injuries and ensure that he or she receives proper medical care now and in the future.