Could this be the next new cottage industry personal injury case? Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, has increased dramatically over the last twenty years. Primarily used to treat symptoms of depression, this type of drug has also been found to increase suicidal thoughts and other side effects. Among the most popular drugs in this category are Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, and Lexapro. Recent findings have shown a substantial previously less-well understood risk for teenagers and pregnant women who are considering the drugs.
Philly.com recently reported on the connection between SSRI medication and suicide rates among teens. The Sydney Morning Herald cites a study conducted by an Australian psychiatrist. In the survey, it was discovered that in 13 of 14 different antidepressants, use of the drugs were more harmful to teens than using nothing at all. Altogether a series of clinical trials were utilized, with over 5,000 patients.
The medication venlafaxine, marketed as Efexor has been noted for the increased risk of suicide among patients. There is also significant concern that other drugs, including paroxetine, sertraline, and citalopram may all cause more harm than previously indicated. Even one of the most popular antidepressants that was found to create a lower risk among teens, fluoxetine (Prozac), still had a lower efficacy in reducing depression than previously believed.
The researchers noted that use of antidepressant medication jumped 16% between 2009 and 2012. Medical professionals also warn against abruptly stopping use of such drugs, instead doing so over time. This dovetails with the published finding in the Harvard Health journal in May 2016.
The study found that over 15% of pregnant women were taking antidepressants. Furthermore, the effects of SSRIs on the developing fetus are still not fully known. Considering that SSRIs were four of the top five antidepressants prescribed to pregnant women there was also reduced room for error. There is now more concern about the effect of these drugs on both the fetus and the expecting mother.
For more information or if you believe that you or a loved one has been affected by side effects from these drugs, please contact medical malpractice and prescription drug liability expert Michael Ehline today. Ehline Law has years of experience dealing with the large medical corporations that push these drugs with little regard for the long term effects on patients. Call them at (213) 596-9642.