Lynn Seithel encourages Mothers of Children with Birth Defects to Seek Prescription Histories during Pregnancy Now
For most of the past two decades, several pharmaceutical companies have done very little to discourage women of child bearing age from taking anti-depressants and other harmful medications when they are planning to become pregnant and/or at risk for becoming pregnant.
Pregnancy is often not planned and often women are taking medications early in pregnancy when the unborn child’s heart, central nervous system and brain are in critical stages of development.
In the 1990s many women and doctors believed that anti-depressants like Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac and Wellbutrin were safe to take during pregnancy.
The labels today contain warnings but several of the labels do not list the adverse events children whose mothers took anti-depressants during their pregnancies suffered from.
Despite the fact that the pharmaceutical companies are aware of the often serious, permanent, life threatening and/or life altering birth defects such as heart defects such as ventricular septal defects (VSD), atrial septal defects (ASD), transposition of the greater arteries (TGA), hypoplastic left heart, pulmonary stenosis, right aortic arch, vascular rings and others.
Other serious, permanent, life threatening and/or life altering birth defects that have been reported with anti-depressant use during the first trimester of pregnancy include neural tube defects, spina bifida, cranial defects, cleft lips, cleft palates and club feet in addition to limb reduction defects and primary pulmonary hypertension.
Parents and children with such defects whom I have represented have dramatically altered lives requiring substantial medical needs for their children and often extra expense.Because most of these pharmaceuticals that the mothers took during pregnancy have been on the market for so many years with little to no warning of the serious and devastating birth defects children have suffered in mothers who took anti-depressants and other dangerous pharmaceuticals during their pregnancy.
Finding the records to determine which drug mothers took is often a difficult task. Doctors frequently change anti-depressants due to differing reactions patients have and obtaining proof can be challenging.
Many pharmacies now claim to only keep records for seven years and in many cases much more time has passed. Treating physicians’ records are often destroyed and in some cases, I have represented families where the prescribing physician died and the records are nowhere to be found.
While most states allow some type of tolling for the statute of limitations during a child’s minority, by the time those children become adults, those records in many cases are or will be impossible to find.
As one of the pioneers in the Paxil birth defect litigation, I have experienced firsthand the difficulties of finding proof that mothers took Paxil and other medications during their pregnancy.“In the past several years, several once popular medications that many believed to carry little to no known risks during pregnancy – those medications now have different warnings in their labels.
The law firm, Seithel Law, LLC, represents a number of clients whose mothers took medications during their pregnancies -- medications with changes to their labels in the past five years, including the medications Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Depakote, Topomax, Prozac and Wellbutrin.
There are some really bad birth defects children have suffered and their mothers have taken Paxil, Zoloft, Depakote, Topomax, Wellbutrin, Effexor and other medications during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Some of these medications were on the market for over a decade before their labels were strengthened and there are doctors and lawyers who do not believe the warnings are strong enough today.
Almost all of the women that I have represented would not have taken the medications like Paxil, Zoloft, Depakote, Topomax, Wellbutrin and Effexor during pregnancy if they had known there was an increased risk in their children developing serious, permanent life threatening and/or life altering birth defects.
Of course, now that there are some increased warnings, many of the records to show what women took during their pregnancies have disappeared.
Women and mothers with children who have serious birth defects such as cardiovascular birth defects, neural tube defects and cranial, facial or limb malformations should obtain their prescribing doctor records, obgyn records and pharmacy records now.
While the law may allow their children to bring their lawsuits when they become adults, the evidence they will need in order to recover needs to be obtained now, otherwise they may not have the proofs they need to bring their case.
Seithel Law, LLC specializes in helping people that has suffered from birth defects and other life altering conditions because of drugs that where taken during pregnancy. For a free consultation call Lynn Seithel toll free 1-800.818.5329.
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- Lynn Seithel
- Attorney At Law
- Seithel Law, LLC
- (1) 1-800.818.5329
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