The maternal use of certain prescription medications during pregnancy has been associated with a severe birth defect known as craniosynostosis. This congenital abnormality is characterized by the premature closure of one or more joints in an infant’s skull, which leads to increased intracranial pressure because the skull is not able to expand enough to make room for the growing brain. Prescription medications linked to craniosynostosis include antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft, as well as the fertility drug Clomid.
Craniosynostosis Lawsuit Review: If you or somebody you know has a child who has been diagnosed with craniosynostosis after being exposed to a prescription medication 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 craniosynostosis?
The following prescription medications have been associated with the development of craniosynostosis in babies born to mothers who took the drugs during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant):
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
- Clomid (clomiphene citrate)
Craniosynostosis is a rare congenital (present at birth) defect that causes one or more sutures on an infant’s head to close prematurely. Sutures are connections that separate the individual skull bones. This defect is typically classified as either primary craniosynostosis, in which the cranial sutures have hardened and hindered the brain’s ability to grow, or secondary craniosynostosis, where the brain stops growing altogether. Craniosynostosis can be further broken down into the following classifications:
- Sagittal Synostosis (Scaphocephaly) – occurs when the sutures at the top of the head close prematurely, forcing the baby’s head to grow long and narrow, rather than wide.
- Coronal Synostosis (Anterior Plagiocephaly) – refers to the premature fusion of one of the sutures that run from each ear to the suture on top of the head. This type of craniosynostosis forces the baby’s forehead to flatten on the affected side and can lead to a raised eye socket, deviated nose, or slanted skull. If not treated, coronal synostosis may lead to vision loss on the affected side (amblyopia).
- Bicoronal Synostosis (Brachycephaly) – occurs when both of the coronal sutures close prematurely. Bicoronal synostosis may cause the affected infant to have a flat, elevated forehead and brow.
Symptoms of Craniosynostosis
Symptoms of drug-induced craniosynostosis may not be apparent immediately after birth. As the baby grows, telltale signs of the defect will typically become increasingly apparent. Symptoms may include (but are not limited to):
- misshapen skull
- abnormal feeling ‘soft spot’ (fontanelle) on the baby’s skull
- early disappearance of fontanelle
- slow or no growth of the child’s head as he or she grows
- raised, hard ridge along affected structures
- intracranial pressure (increased pressure within the skull)
Treatment & Prognosis (Outlook)
Serious cases of craniosynostosis are typically treated with surgical intervention soon after the baby is born. The main goals of surgery are to:
- relieve pressure on the brain
- make sure there is enough room in the skull to allow the brain to properly grow
- improve the appearance of the infant’s head
The patient’s long-term outlook depends on how many sutures are involved and whether other congenital abnormalities are present. Affected children who undergo surgery early in life usually do well, especially those whose condition is not associated with a genetic syndrome.
Craniosynostosis is a tragic and catastrophic birth defect that can, in many cases, result in lifelong complications. Although prompt diagnosis and treatment can effectively manage the symptoms of craniosynostosis, seeking proper medical care can result in exorbitant medical bills that can be nearly impossible to pay for many families. If your child or other loved one was born with craniosynostosis after being exposed to a prescription drug in the womb, you should contact a qualified defective drug attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a craniosynostosis lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company in order to collect financial compensation for the child’s injuries and accompanying medical expenses.
Is there a time limit in filing a craniosynostosis lawsuit?
Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their craniosynostosis 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 craniosynostosis birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.
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