Lexapro Birth Injury

Clinical mental health treatments have been growing in popularity for several decades, especially as people strive to erase the stigma associated with mental illness and medical research continues to delve deeper into treating conditions such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder. One medication that has seen much success in treating these conditions is escitalopram, which is more commonly known by its trademark name of Lexapro.

Many individuals find that Lexapro is an excellent solution when it comes to managing the symptoms of their mental conditions. However, Lexapro – like many other psychiatric medications – isn’t perfect, as there are several negative side effects associated with the drug. In fact, cases of Lexapro-induced birth injury when the mother of a newborn child is prescribed the drug are high enough to concern medical professionals. It can become a delicate balancing act between providing relief from the symptoms of the medical conditions suffered by the mother and ensuring that the developing child isn’t exposed to unnecessary risk – and it’s something that is common for any pregnant women taking Lexapro and other drugs similar to it.

The Way Lexapro Works

Lexapro is known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, a class of drug that regulates the way the brain absorbs and processes that particular neurotransmitter in an attempt to restore a positive balance and manage or eliminate the symptoms of major depressive disorders and related conditions. Many researchers believe that depression and other similar mental conditions could be caused by serotonin imbalances; this theory is supported by how many patients respond favorably to SSRIs such as Lexapro when it comes to treating depression, anxiety and the many other mental conditions that are suspected to be caused by serotonin imbalance.

Lexapro, like the other SSRIs, can often take some time to begin working properly, something that can frustrate patients looking for more immediate relief from mental conditions they may have been living with for years or even decades. It can often be as long as one to two weeks before you begin to feel any positive effects from the drug; typically, dosage levels reach full efficacy after around a month. You should monitor your health carefully during these first four weeks in order to ensure the drug is working properly and you’re not suffering from any side effects.

Dangers Posed to Developing Children

Lexapro should only be used by expectant mothers who suffer from serious forms of the mental illnesses that the drug can treat. Exposure to SSRIs such as Lexapro has been linked to birth injuries or difficulties in development, especially in the case of expectant mothers who take Lexapro during the last trimester of their pregnancy. Doing so can lead to a child having to endure withdrawal symptoms after birth; these symptoms include constant crying, muscle stiffness, seizures, or difficulties in breathing or feeding.

However, many doctors will recommend patients to continue taking SSRIs like Lexapro because of how serious mental conditions like panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression can be. Each case is unique to the patient; while not wanting to cause injury to your developing child is a strong reason for discontinuing Lexapro, sometimes the possible risks to the child do not outweigh the beneficial effects of the drug. It’s important to have a frank discussion with your doctor if you are on Lexapro and you either wish to become pregnant or have discovered you are pregnant – especially since Lexapro will pass into breast milk and may result in unwanted side effects in a breastfed newborn.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/features/serotonin

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63990/lexapro-oral/details#precautions

http://www.rxlist.com/lexapro-side-effects-drug-center.htm

http://www.birthinjuryguide.org/birth-injury/causes/medication/lexapro/