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Prozac and Down Syndrome


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The Defective Drug Lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP are investigating incidents of Down syndrome associated with the maternal use of Prozac during pregnancy. Studies have indicated that expecting mothers who take Prozac and other similar antidepressants may be at a higher risk of having a baby born with Down syndrome or other congenital abnormalities. It is of critical importance that women be aware of these risks prior to begging a regimen of treatment with Prozac.

Free Prozac Down Syndrome Suit Evaluation:If you or a loved one has given birth to a child who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome after being exposed to Prozac in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

According to mounting research and numerous case studies, pregnant women who take Prozac and other similar antidepressants increase their risk of giving birth to babies with birth defects by more than half. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved Prozac in 1998, and it quickly became the most widely prescribed drug for depression on the market. However, two years before its release, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found that women taking Prozac during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to deliver a baby with three or more abnormalities and poorer than average neonatal adaptation. Since then, one of the major birth defects that has been increasingly associated with Prozac is Down syndrome (DS).

What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. The vast majority of cases of DS result from trisomy 21, which means that each cell in the body has three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two copies. The extra genetic material disrupts the normal course of development, causing the accompanying features of Down syndrome. A small percentage of people with DS have an extra copy of chromosome 21 in only some of the body’s cells. When this occurs, the condition is referred to as mosaic Down syndrome.

DS can also occur when part of Chromosome 21 becomes attached (translocated) to another chromosome during the formation of reproductive cells (eggs and sperm). Affected individuals have two copies of chromosome 21, plus extra genetic material from chromosome 21 attached to another chromosome. This is called translocation Down syndrome.

Signs & Symptoms of Down Syndrome

Children with Down syndrome typically exhibit some or all of the following characteristics:

  • Eyes that slant upward
  • Small ears that may fold over a little at the top
  • A small mouth, making the tongue appear large
  • A small nose with a flattened nasal bridge
  • A short neck
  • Small hands and feet
  • Low muscle tone
  • Short stature in childhood and adulthood

Down syndrome is one of the most common congenital birth defects reported nationwide. It affects approximately 1 in 800 (about 3,400) babies a year in the United States. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, there are nearly a half million individuals living with Down syndrome in the U.S. alone.

Birth Defects Associated with Down Syndrome

In addition to the complications presented by Down syndrome, there are a variety of other health conditions that are often seen in patients who have DS, including (but not limited to):

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Hearing problems
  • Intestinal problems, such as blocked small bowel or esophagus
  • Celiac disease
  • Eye problems, such as cataracts
  • Thyroid dysfunctions
  • Skeletal problems
  • Dementia—similar to Alzheimer’s

 

Prenatal Screening & Diagnosis

Two types of prenatal tests are typically used to detect DS in the womb:

  • Screening Tests - Estimate the risk that a fetus has Down syndrome. Screening tests are cheap and easy to perform, and are used to help parents decide whether to conduct diagnostic tests.
  • Diagnostic Tests - Tell whether the fetus actually has Down syndrome. Diagnostic tests are approximately 99% effective in detecting DS and other chromosomal abnormalities. However, because they are performed inside the uterus, they are associated with a risk of miscarriage and other complications.

Down Syndrome Prognosis (Outlook)

The prognosis for individuals with DS is variable, depending on the types of complications of each affected patient. The severity of developmental delays also varies considerably. Without the presence of congenital birth defects, approximately 90% of children with the condition survive past their teenage years and even up to the age of 50. The prognosis for a baby born with Down syndrome has improved dramatically in recent years. Modern medical treatments – including antibiotics to treat infections and surgery to correct heart defects – have significantly increased their life expectancies.

Do You Have a Prozac Down Syndrome Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Prozac lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Down syndrome cases in all 50 states.

Free Prozac Down Syndrome Suit Evaluation:If you or a loved one has given birth to a child who has been diagnosed with Down syndrome after being exposed to Prozac in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

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