Prozac is a best selling antidepressant medication in the United States; however, despite of its efficacy, there have been some noted complications, including birth defects to babies born from mothers who are taking it – the very reason why Eli Lilly and Company, the drug’s manufacturer, has been hit with lawsuits.
Prozac is a drug that belongs to the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) class, which is commonly used to treat bulimia nervosa, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and pediatric depression. The drug is sold under the generic name fluoxetine, and it works by changing the chemical balance in the brain that leads to alter one’s mood. Consumers have known the various minor effects of the drug including headaches, drowsiness, and diarrhoea among others, but most people are not aware of the drug’s major side effects.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that pregnant women’s unborn children are at risk for Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PHTN) if the mother was taking Prozac during her pregnancy. The drug was also linked to suicidal tendencies in young adults who are taking it. In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration warned the public about the possible suicidal risks of using Prozac and in 2007, the FDA finally implemented a black box warning for the drug. To date, thousands of people have filed lawsuits against Eli Lilly and Company, the manufacturer of Prozac.
In 2000, Eli Lilly reportedly paid over $50 million to settle Prozac lawsuits and many more cases followed. PHTN wasn’t the only serious adverse effect, as Plaintiffs also claimed that the drug lead to anencephaly, cleft lip, and cardiac problems.