Did you use prescription antidepressants like Paxil, Prozac or Zoloft during pregnancy and give birth to a child with tetralogy of fallot (TOF)? If so, you may be entitled to substantial compensation for your child’s condition. Mounting research and numerous case studies have linked the maternal use of antidepressants to tetralogy of fallot, a potentially life-threatening birth defect that causes dangerously low levels of oxygen in the blood.

Tetralogy of Fallot Suit Review:If you or somebody you know took antidepressants during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with tetralogy of fallot or other serious congenital birth defect, 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 drugs have been linked to tetralogy of fallot?

The following antidepressants have been associated with the development of tetralogy of fallot in babies born to mothers who took them during pregnancy:

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

What is Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)?

Tetralogy of fallot is a severe condition involving a combination of four separate congenital heart defects that affect the structure of the heart and cause low oxygen levels in the blood. The following birth defects are involved in TOF:

  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) – A hole in the heart in the wall between the right and left ventricles.
  • Pulmonary Stenosis – A narrowing of the pulmonary outflow tract, which is the valve that connects the heart with the lungs.
  • Overriding Aorta – The artery that carries oxygenated blood to the body is shifted over the right ventricle and VSD, instead of coming out only from the left ventricle.
  • Right Ventricular Hypertrophy – A thickened muscular wall of the right ventricle.

Signs and Symptoms of Tetralogy of Fallot

Signs and symptoms of antidepressant-induced TOF may include:

  • bluish-purple tinge to the skin (cyanosis)
  • clubbing of the fingers / toes
  • difficulty feeding
  • failure to gain weight
  • delayed development

In severe cases, tetralogy of fallot can lead to:

  • irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • seizures
  • oxygen deprivation
  • death

Diagnosis & Treatment of TOF

TOF is the most common form of cyanotic congenital heart disease. Babies born with the condition often have other non-heart birth defects and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome. Depending on the severity of the individual defects, TOF may be diagnosed shortly after birth. Diagnosis is typically accomplished through a variety of tests including:

  • examination with a stethoscope, which almost always reveals a heart murmur
  • chest x-ray
  • complete blood count (CBG)
  • echocardiogram
  • electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • MRI of the heart (typically after surgery)

Since the mid-1950’s, open heart surgery has been the primary treatment for TOF, and has been largely successful. Another surgical option, called palliative surgery, involves the connection of the subclavian and pulmonary arteries to increase blood flow in the pulmonary circuit.


Most cases of TOF can be corrected with open heart surgery. Some 90 percent of children who undergo surgery survive to adulthood and live active, healthy and productive lives. Without surgery, however, death usually occurs by the time the person reaches the age of 20. Individuals who have experienced severe leakiness of the pulmonary valve may need to have it replaced. Regular follow-ups with a cardiologist to monitor for irregular heart rhythms are highly recommended.

What Causes Tetralogy of Fallot?

The exact cause of TOF is still largely unknown to the scientific community, but mounting research and numerous case studies have found a strong link between the maternal use of antidepressant drugs and a higher incidence of severe congenital heart defects like tetralogy of fallot. Sadly, a growing number of mothers who have taken antidepressants during their pregnancy because they thought it was safe have given birth to babies with TOF and other severe congenital birth defects. In many cases, the babies have been required to get full heart transplants.

Is there a time limit in filing a tetralogy of fallot lawsuit?

Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their tetralogy of fallot 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 tetralogy of fallot birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.

Attention Lawyers:  Schmidt & Clark, LLP considers a referral from another lawyer to be one of the greatest compliments. Our law firm has built a reputation for success and accepts a number of case referrals on a regular basis. We do not publish prior verdicts or settlements on our website. If you would like to refer us a case or for us to send you a profile of prior award judgments or average referral fees, please fill out the form below.