The pharmaceutical drug Lexapro has faced increased scrutiny over the past few years stemming from its potentially harmful side effects. In any lawsuit versus a major drug corporation, allegations are typically made that the manufacturer failed to provide adequate warnings of the known side effects of the drug – no matter how unlikely the effects are. Drug makers are under a duty to warn patients of the likelihood of injury or death relating to their product and failure to do so can lead to individual or class action lawsuits aiming to hold the company responsible.
Lexapro autism attorneys are well-educated in the law as it pertains to the development of autism in children exposed to the drug while in the womb. As parents begin to recognize the likely link between Lexapro and childhood autism, many have considered an individual or class action lawsuit against the drug maker – Forest Laboratories, Inc. Class action lawsuits differ from individual lawsuits in that all plaintiffs suffering similar injuries from the same defendant are given the opportunity to sue the defendant together and split the proceeds from a favorable jury verdict. Class actions alleviate the necessity for hundreds of plaintiffs to sue one defendant individually and can promote principles of efficiency and economy.
What is Lexapro?
Lexapro is a member of a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). These drugs balance serotonin levels in the brain and help regulate mood and emotions. The drug is currently approved for the treatment of major depression disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. While originally marketed for adults only, the drug is now available for teenagers and adolescents aged 12-17 who suffer from these conditions.
SSRI’s are beginning to gain significant publicity with respect to potential birth defects. Mothers who were prescribed SSRI’s like Lexapro were never made aware of the potential for serious side effects in their children. Children exposed to Lexapro during the first trimester are at a potentially greater risk of developing serious defects like autism than those children who were not exposed to the drug in utero. Children exposed during the second and third trimesters only are at a slightly greater advantage but still face a risk of autism twice that of their peers.
Lexapro and Autism
Lexapro use during pregnancy was recently linked with the development of many autism spectrum disorders (ASD’s). Common ASD’s potentially caused by prenatal Lexapro use include Heller’s Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). These disorders leave lasting effects on children and cause irreversible developmental difficulties in children’s emotional, social and cognitive development.
As mentioned above, children exposed to Lexapro during gestation face a risk of autism three times that of their peers. Parents are often faced with the difficulties of choosing the proper school for their autistic child and arranging for special needs childcare. Parents and children alike share the negative consequences of Lexapro use during pregnancy and many parents are beginning to consider the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit against the drug maker responsible for inadequate warnings about this disease.
Lexapro Autism Attorneys
If you are in a situation similar to that described above, you are probably wondering about your rights against the drug maker that injured your child. There are a number of different ways to commence a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer. Competent and experienced Lexapro autism attorneys are available to help you to decide which course of action is in the best interests of your family.
Parents may choose between commencing an individual lawsuit against the drug manufacturer or joining what is known as a class action. Class actions are large lawsuits involving hundreds – sometimes thousands – of plaintiffs against one single defendant. These are particularly helpful in actions against drug makers as plaintiffs are geographically widespread but suffer the same side effects.