The Link between Mothers Taking Antidepressants and Children with Autism

Skilled personal injury and medical malpractice attorneys serving Washington, D.C. and West Virginia

Over the past few years, a number of studies have been issued warning mothers-to-be about the dangers of taking certain prescription medications while pregnant. Of those drugs, antidepressants seem to have the most chance of causing a baby harm. Certain studies have shown that mothers who take antidepressants while pregnant are at an increased risk of giving birth to a child with autism.

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we believe that all mothers deserve to hear all the facts about potential dangers. If you or your spouse took antidepressants during a pregnancy and have a child who has been diagnosed with a spectrum disorder, we want to hear from you. Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn patients about the potential risks, and failing to do so may be construed as an act of negligence or fraud. Our firm helps victims throughout Washington, D.C. and West Virginia obtain the help and the compensation they need when a negligent doctor or drug manufacturer’s actions have led to permanent and life-long repercussions on your family and your child’s health.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and autism

People who suffer with depression are often prescribed SSRIs to help. The Mayo Clinic explains that “SSRIs block the reabsorption (reuptake) of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. Changing the balance of serotonin seems to help brain cells send and receive chemical messages, which in turn boosts mood.” If a pregnant mother takes an SSRI, the drug could cross through the placenta and into the fetus during its development. As Dr. Adam Urato from the Tufts Medical Center explains to the New York Times, “From the brain, [serotonin] signals the neurons where to go, what to do and how to develop. It signals the heart; it plays an active role in the gut; and it plays an important role in the formation of the lungs. What it does during development is basically everything.” An SSRI would inhibit the serotonin in a fetus from completing these actions.

The article goes on to point out that “boys with autism were nearly three times more likely to have been exposed to S.S.R.I.s before birth than typically developing boys” according to research out of Johns Hopkins University.

Autism and Antidepressants

Dangerous drugs on the market

At Paulson & Nace, we represent the best interests of our clients and their loved ones who have been harmed because of a doctor’s failure to warn. We represent families in Washington, D.C. and West Virginia whose pregnant mothers took antidepressants such as:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Zoloft

Help for mothers with children on the spectrum

Paulson & Nace, PLLC is widely recognized in Washington, D.C. and West Virginia as a premier medical malpractice law firm. We have secured millions of dollars for our clients over the past four decades, and we want to hear your story. If your child has autism and you believe it may be related to antidepressants, please contact our office by calling 202.463.1999 or filling out our contact form to schedule a consultation time.