Lawsuits for Birth defects caused by Antidepressants:BS?

Denise - posted on 04/10/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Ok,this is a random topic that bugs me, so I'm going to speak my mind freely.I've been seeing commercials urging women to contact lawyers if they had a baby with birth defects due to taking antidepressants during pregnancy.When I first saw this commercial I was outraged.Here are my thoughts on the matter.I hope I dont ofend anyone by saying this.



First,I don't think the women have the right to sue anyone if they willingly took the meds knowing they were carrying a child.I know there may be instances when a person may not know right away that they are pregnant but in order to cause defects in the baby the mother would have to take the meds for a significant amt of the pregnancy.



Secondly,I understand that some people do need medication to control depression and other conditions.I took antidepressants a few yrs back so I know they can help.However,I can also say that ,as a person who has suffered recurring bouts with depression,it may not be best to have a child until the issues are under control.It's already enough dealing with the hormone issues of a pregnancy so why would a person who's already depressed do that to themself and the child?



Lastly,I feel that if the woman cannot go without taking the medication she should discuss with her doctor maybe doing something that may not affect the baby.The mere idea of knowing that a woman is blessed with the ability to carry a child but would abuse it by harming the child then have the audacity to sue the drug company makes me sick! I believe women who do that shouldn't be allowed to have children.The poor defenseless child doesnt stand a chance with a mother like that.If anyone here has gone through this personally,I feel bad for you but I don't have a shred of sympathy for the woman who would do this.My sympathy lies with the child.I just had to get this off my chest.

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Mary - posted on 04/11/2012

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I don't think this issue is quite as black and white a you would like to make it. It really is not as simple as saying, "If you know you are pregnant, don't take any antidepressants." or to say that a woman should wait until her depression is "under control". For some women, their depression is never going to be under control unless they are medicated. For others, the hormonal shifts of pregnancy cause a previously "controlled" depression to be exacerbated, and to require some type of medication that was not needed pre-pregnancy. Then, of course, you have the rather common occurrences of unplanned pregnancies.



If you need to direct you outrage somewhere, please direct it at the malpractice attorneys who are trying to make a buck off of the heartbreak of a women who has given birth to a child with birth defects. Although I know that the nameless, faceless drug companies and doctors are often easy targets, they are not always to blame for this. These lawsuits operate on the assumption that something or someone external is always to blame for the anomaly in question. Truth is, it's not always known precisely what caused the anomaly: lawsuits are not won in these cases because it is an undisputed fact that something (such as a particular drug) caused harm, but rather because a lawyer was successful in persuading a jury of regular people to believe his carefully crafted arguments. A malpractice attorney also usually has an advantage going into these types of trials, since even if a juror isn't fully convinced that something was the cause of injury, they are almost always swayed by their sympathy for the afflicted child and family. They want to believe that lawyer, because they want to help that baby.



I do find your judgement of these mothers to be harsh and unwarranted. I also think that you lack any real understanding of what true depression really is. Instead of condemning these mothers as abusive, you should be on your knees in thanks that you've never been seriously afflicted with this. Although I myself haven't either, I do possess the ability to feel compassion and empathy; sadly, these appear to be qualities in which you are sorely lacking. It makes me feel a bit of sympathy for your children.

Tracey - posted on 04/11/2012

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Having seen what a friend went through while depressed and pregnant I understand why women may need or take antidepressants during these months. The depression started during pregnancy and she had no problems before, however when she was pregnant she was so bad she tried to slit her wrists and pushed her hands through glass, she smacked her bump into doors and walls repeatedly trying to get rid of it. I don't know what she ended up taking but the child has severe health problems. What would you have done, tied her to a bed or sedated her for the remainder of the pregnancy - because without meds that would have been the only way to stop her self harming.

Are you suggesting that women deliberately take meds that they know will harm the baby or are we talking about women who took meds on the advice of their doctor unaware that there may be side effects? As patients we trust our doctors, if they tell us something is safe we believe them. If you can't trust your health care professional to (a) know the side effects of what they are prescribing and (b) to act in your best interests, then who can you trust?

If a pharamacuetical company sold drugs while claiming they were safe to use during pregnancy and that has resulted in affected babies then yes I would sue the pants off them.

If a doctor prescribed these drugs to a pregnant woman while aware they could cause defects then possibly sue him if she was (a) not warned of the side effects and (b) not in a frame of mind to make a responsible decision.

If a woman knowingly took the drugs while aware of side effects then no she has no case and shouldn't sue anyone.

As for not feeling any sympathy for parents who have affected children due to medication, what would you suggest to the thousands of military wives whose husbands served abroad in wars and received meds that were later suggested to cause birth defects? Would you say tough luck to them, would you suggest that those thousands of women remain childless just in case?

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Dee - posted on 06/16/2012

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This editorial is exactly why we have the adage about not judging someone until we walk a mile in their shoes. I am one of those unreasonable women who took anti-depressant

Mrs. - posted on 04/11/2012

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Hey, I don't know about anyone else, but when I got pregnant and was on meds....I did as much research and consulted as many specialists as I could.

Some of these women who are suing may have done the same and are suing because the drug companies because of it.

[deleted account]

i think it's more the doctor telling the mother that it's okay to take these antidepressants during pregnancy, when it's not.



i know that in my area doctors are prone to telling women they can take most antidepressants while pregnant or breastfeeding. so i know around here it's a possibility.



i also know that doing your own research is a hell of a lot better an idea than just listening to a doctor, because for one, the doctor may just be in it for the money and doesn't really care what you think, and for another, the doctor may not be up to date on the information regarding the subject at hand. i've experienced this and know a few people who have as well, so i know that it's very likely for both of those examples.



i was very depressed during my first pregnancy. i couldn't stand the idea of being pregnant and it was causing all kinds of problems with my family and my self-esteem. i had never wanted to be a mother and was completely unprepared. i caused all kinds of harm to myself, but surprisingly never to my unborn baby. then again, i was depressed before and after pregnancy anyway, and i was never for taking meds.



i think a lot of it is misinformation and i think the people who should be sued, if anyone, are the doctors who aren't staying informed about the shit they're putting into women's bodies.

Mrs. - posted on 04/11/2012

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So anyone with a chronic illness who has to take medication (because you say that women should wait until the illness is "under control"), should not have children?

Interesting....You wouldn't like me very much then.

If the meds where deemed safe and it affected the baby anyway, I believe they are within their rights to sue.

I also believe that you might need to think through what you are suggesting. There are many diseases, mental or physical, that are always there, they are never "under control" enough to go without medication. These are people who are disabled, but living with the disease. Are you suggesting that chronically disabled people should not have children, even if the medication they are taking has been deemed safe during pregnancy by their docs and studies? Or just that if their child comes out with birth defects, it is the mother's fault for being ill enough to take meds in the first place and she deserves it? I'm a bit confused.

I'm glad you got that off your chest.

Janice - posted on 04/11/2012

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Until recently many anti-depressants were deemed "safe." I didnt have any depression with my 1st but with my second child I was horrendously depressed the entire time. I had seen the commercials, which is why I didnt seek help through medication. However, I did contemplate it as my depression was completely debilitating. It has also been proven that a mother being in a constant state of stress and depression is harmful to fetuses. So your damned if you do, damned if you don't. And believe me its a real catch 22 to be saddened by the fact that your sadness is hurting your baby!



I think if a woman was told her medication was safe, then she has every right to be upset if she later finds out it was not. I would never sue but I see why if a woman was told there is no risk, why she might want to when she found out the info provided was not true.



I'm an asthmatic. I have been told being on my medication does hold a slight risk but the baby not getting oxygen is a much bigger risk. I fail to see how I'm a bad mom because I have to take medication. Are you saying I shouldn't have children because I have asthma?

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