Mounting research and numerous case studies have found that a number of widely-prescribed medications have been linked to a catastrophic birth defect known as anencephaly. This rare congenital abnormality is nearly always fatal, and occurs when the baby is born missing a large part of his or her brain and skull. Prescription medications associated with anencephaly include SSRI antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as the antiepileptic drug Clomid.

Anencephaly Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child who was born with anencephaly after being exposed to a prescription drug in the womb, you should contact our lawyers immediately. Consultations are always free. Please use our confidential email contact form or call toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

Which prescription medications have been linked to anencephaly?

Most consumers assume that the medications prescribed to them by their doctors are safe to use as directed. Unfortunately, there are a number of popular prescription drugs on the market that have the potential to cause serious harm to infants who are exposed to them in the womb – particularly during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant. Although all new medications must undergo rigorous testing before they are approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), some drugmakers may conceal certain side effects to get their products approved. When this occurs, consumers are left unaware of the potential side effects associated with their prescription medications, and are rendered vulnerable to injury, illness, or even death.

The following prescription medications have been linked to anencephaly and other serious birth defects in babies born to mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy:

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)
  • Celexa (citalopram)
  • Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
  • Wellbutrin (bupropion)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Clomid (clomiphene citrate)

Anencephaly Overview

Anencephaly is a severe congenital birth defect that occurs when an infant’s neural tube fails to close properly in the womb. This abnormality typically occurs between three and four weeks after conception, and severely affects the development of the brain. Anencephaly keeps the forebrain and cerebrum from developing, the parts of the brain that are responsible for conscious thought, coordination, and all voluntary actions of the body. The remainder of the brain is usually exposed without tissue or an enclosing skull.

Prescription drug-induced anencephaly occurs in approximately 1 in 10,000 live births in the United States. However, the actual number is unknown because many anencephaly pregnancies result in miscarriage. Having one baby born with this condition significantly increases the risk of having another child with a similar neural tube defect.

Anencephaly Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of drug-induced anencephaly include:

  • absence of the skull
  • absence of the brain (cerebral hemispheres and cerebellum)
  • facial feature abnormalities
  • heart defects

Diagnosis & Outlook (Prognosis)

If anencephaly is detected while the baby is still in the womb, an ultrasound procedure may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The ultrasound may reveal too much fluid in the uterus, a condition referred to as polyhydramnios. Other tests that may be used to confirm a diagnosis of anencephaly include:

  • amniocentesis (used to detect increased levels of alpha-fetoprotein, which tend to suggest a neural tube defect)
  • urine estriol level test
  • pre-pregnancy serum folic acid test

The long-term outlook for babies born with anencephaly is almost always extremely poor. Because the infant lacks the vast majority of their brain, they will never be able to think, feel, or experience consciousness. While newborns with this condition may be able to breathe or respond to certain stimuli, these are merely subconscious responses – their reaction is involuntary and derives from the brain stem, the oldest and most primitive part of the brain at the base of the neck.

Most infants born with anencephaly are only expected to live a few hours or days after birth. Roughly three-quarters of anencephalic babies are stillborn, while the other 25% die shortly after being born.

Is there a time limit in filing an anencephaly lawsuit?

Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their anencephaly lawyer, it is important that you understand that time is of the essence. The applicable statute of limitations in your state may time bar your claim. Furthermore, we are unable to provide you with legal advice without first evaluating your potential case. Accordingly, please take the time now to contact us by using the confidential email contact form below or by calling us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing (866) 588-0600.

We hope we will be able to assist you with your potential anencephaly birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.


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