Anti-depressant medications have been available for nearly 40 years, but researchers and medical professionals are still discovering new side effects and other harmful information. SSRI antidepressants are a class of antidepressants that increase the amount of serotonin in the brain by blocking its reuptake. They have been generally successful at treating a range of problems, including depression and anxiety disorder. However, as information becomes known that drug manufacturers new about many of the deadly side effects, the number of antidepressant lawsuits increase.
Common Side Effects
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings about very serious potential side effects of SSRI use. These include:
- Potential for “serotonin syndrome,” a condition that could cause a range of symptoms, from very mild to even death if not treated properly.
- Increased risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant mothers.
- Increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (particularly in those 24 and younger)
Other specific SSRIs may have additional side effects as well. Other, more minor, side effects include:
- Blurred vision
- Bowel irregularities
- Dry mouth
- Sleep disturbances
- Excessive sweating
- Lowered sex drive
- Sexual dysfunction
- Loss of appetite
SSRIs should also not be combined with some medications, including those that treat migraines. Side effects from that drug combination may include high blood pressure, increased heart rate, fever, hyperthermia, and shock.
Nearly every medication has some kind of side effect. So, what makes antidepressant side effects different? The main difference is that the side effects can be extremely severe, and in some cases the drug manufcatuers failed to disclose these known dangers. In other cases, the person taking the medication becomes violent or aggressive and does harm to themselves and those around them.
Legal liability results where the side effects of a drug are “unreasonably dangerous”. In addition, if the manufacturer, doctor, pharmacy, or other medical professional failed to provide an adequate warning about potential side effects, they may face legal liability.
Specific Antidepressant Lawsuits
There are several very well-known antidepressant brands that have been involved in lawsuits. In some cases, the drugs are involved in criminal activity, like harming other people. For example, one of the Columbine High School shooters was taking Zoloft at the time of the shooting. His parents sued the manufacturer, arguing that Zoloft increased his violent tendencies.
- Prozac. Prozac’s manufacturer has settled more than 30 antidepressant lawsuits for at least $50 million. Those who took the drug while they were pregnant made up a large portion of those who sought reimbursement for the birth defects of their children.
- Effexor. Lawsuits involving Effexor allege that the drug increases suicidal thoughts and violent tendencies. Mothers are also suing because they were not given warnings about birth defects that could occur with use of Effexor while pregnant.
- Lexapro. In 2010, the manufacturer admitted to deceptive marketing practices and had to pay $300 to settle a criminal lawsuit. The manufacturer marketed the product to young children knowing that it caused an increased risk of suicide.
- Paxil. Again, patients sued because they were not warned about the potential for birth defects if they continued to take Paxil during pregnancy. In one case, a family was awarded $2.5 million for injuries related to birth defects.
If you or a loved one has taken an antidepressant while pregnant, resulting in a birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Our St. Louis lawyers for antidepressant claims are available for a FREE consultation. Call 855-552-2337 to speak with The Dixon Injury Firm about your potential antidepressant lawsuit.
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