medicationAntidepressant medication known as SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), like Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft, are prescribed to millions of people every year.  Opioid pain relievers are narcotics and include fentanyl, hydrocodone, morphine and oxycodone.  A new study has revealed that in utero exposure to opioids, especially in combination with SSRI medication, are at a greater risk of health problems, such as being born underweight.  The degree of health problems is influenced by the type of medication and the length of exposure, among other things.

The study, Prescription Opioid Epidemic and Infant Outcomes, was run by a Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  Doctors investigate a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which is withdrawal usually linked to the mother’s use of illegal drugs.  However, new research shows that babies can suffer NAS when their mothers legally use some opioid pain relievers.

Problems include preterm delivery, low birth weight, respiratory distress and meconium aspiration.

Statistically, women in this category tend to be white, have some sort of anxiety or depression, and suffer from musculoskeletal disease and headaches.  Some of these are obviously categories that directly link to opioid and antidepressant medication use.

Women must remember that, when they are pregnant, the baby is exposed to everything that the mother ingests.  This is why, as a culture, we are so concerned with food and medication during pregnancy—there is so much we don’t know about a baby’s development, and so much that we are learning, that it is still better to err on the side of caution.

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If your doctor or medical provider knowingly prescribed you antidepressant medication or opioid medication during your pregnancy, contact our our medical malpractice attorneys at (855) 712-7818 or online for a free consultation.  We can help you to determine whether your baby’s medical problems may be related to the medication.

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