Experts believe that the maternal use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of heart defects such as tricuspid valve stenosis, a condition in which the valves between the two right heart chambers don’t function properly. This causes blood to flow poorly and the heart to work extra hard to perform its duties. Symptoms of tricuspid valve stenosis include labored breathing, chest pain, and blue skin (cyanosis).
Tricuspid Valve Stenosis Suit Review:If you or somebody you know has a child who has been diagnosed with tricuspid valve stenosis after being exposed to an antidepressant 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 drugs have been linked to tricuspid valve stenosis?
A growing body of scientific research has found that babies born to mothers who take antidepressants during pregnancy have an increased risk for serious congenital heart defects like tricuspid valve stenosis. This risk is even greater when moms-to-be take more than one SSRI at a time, or switch medications early in pregnancy. The following SSRI antidepressants have been linked to heart defects like tricuspid valve stenosis, and are prescribed to millions of women during their pregnancies:
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Celexa (citalopram)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
- Symbyax (fluoxetine and olanzapine)
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Effexor (venlafaxine)
Tricuspid Valve Stenosis: An Overview
Tricuspid valve stenosis is a severe congenital birth defect characterized by a narrowing or stiffening of the opening in the tricuspid valve, which causes increased resistance to blood flow. The tricuspid valve is located on the right side of the heart, in between the atrium and the ventricle. Its role is to make sure blood flows in a forward direction from the right atrium to the ventricle. When the tricuspid valve becomes stenotic, however, it decreases the amount of blood that can flow through it, and raises the pressure in the right atrium, causing it to enlarge. Tricuspid valve stenosis also causes the right ventricle to shrink, which significantly lowers cardiac output.
Signs & Symptoms of Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
Mild cases of tricuspid valve stenosis may be tolerated for a long time without any identifiable symptoms. However, in severe cases of the condition, telltale signs may include:
- irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation)
- fluttering discomfort in the neck
- heart murmur
- abnormal pulse in the jugular vein in the neck
- heart failure symptoms
- right abdominal pain
- shortness of breath
- swelling in the legs or abdomen
- cold skin
A number of these symptoms may be detected during a routine physical examination. Additional tests with a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram, or echocardiogram may also be performed to confirm a diagnosis of tricuspid valve stenosis. Cardiac catheterization may be performed if surgery is being considered.
In many cases, treatment for tricuspid valve stenosis will not be required. Many affected individuals never show any signs of the condition, and may live out their entire lives without even realizing they have it. However, treatment may be required if more than one valve in the heart is affected, or if the opening between the chambers of the heart is especially small.
One method of treatment called balloon valvuloplasty involves running a tiny tube with a balloon attached to the tip into the patient’s arteries and up into the heart. Once inside the heart, the balloon is positioned in the valve and inflated, stretching out the opening permanently. In most cases of tricuspid valve stenosis, balloon valvuloplasty will be all that is needed to correct the problem.
In especially serious cases, valve replacement surgery may be performed to remove the heart valve and replace it with a new mechanical or synthetic one. If a mechanical valve is used, the patient will have to take anticoagulants for the rest of their life.
Quick Facts about Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- The condition occurs in about 3% of the general population, and is seen in 15% of patients who suffer from rheumatic fever.
- The incidence of congenital tricuspid valve stenosis is less than one percent, with a larger percentage of those with the condition developing it later in life.
- Rheumatic fever is closely linked to the development of tricuspid valve stenosis.
- While extremely rare, infective carditis can also cause tricuspid valve stenosis.
What causes tricuspid valve stenosis?
Experts believe that genetic and environmental factors may play a role in causing congenital birth defects like tricuspid valve stenosis. Studies have shown that the maternal use of SSRI antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy – a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant – increases the risk of birth defects. At Schmidt & Clark, LLP, we are investigating the link between antidepressants and congenital heart defects like tricuspid valve stenosis.
Is there a time limit in filing a tricuspid valve stenosis lawsuit?
Although we encourage all our potential clients to take great care in selecting their tricuspid valve stenosis 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 antidepressant-induced tricuspid valve stenosis birth defects lawsuit and look forward to speaking with you.
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