Antidepressants are drugs designed to help elevate the mood of patients who suffer from depression and may also be used "off label" to treat other types of conditions. Many antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Despite the benefits that these drugs often provide to people, there are also potentially serious side effects associated with taking these drugs as well. Side effects such as "serotonin syndrome," birth defects, and increased risk of suicidal behavior have been reported. Other specific drugs are also known to cause other side effects as well.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by an antidepressant, the highly experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are here to fight for you. Here, we answer frequently asked questions about the medication, as well as what to do once you have suffered injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is an antidepressant?
Antidepressants are prescription medications that are designed to help relieve the symptoms of depression, including social anxiety disorder, seasonal affective disorder, dysthymia, mild chronic depression, and anxiety disorders. They are designed to correct certain chemical imbalances between neurotransmitters in the brain that are believed to be responsible for changes in mood and behavior.
2. What is a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)?
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed form of antidepressants. They tend to have fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants, although the side effects can still be severe. They block the "reuptake" or absorption of serotonin in the brain. This allows the brain to more easily receive and send messages. This tends to result in better and more stable moods for the patient.
3. What brands of SSRI antidepressants are commonly prescribed?
There are numerous SSRI's and other antidepressants currently on the market, including the following:
4. What side effects do these antidepressants cause?
While there are many side effects that may be caused by these drugs, the most serious include the following:
- serotonin syndrome: life-threatening condition that can cause high body temperature, tremors, seizures, muscle breakdown, and death;
- increased risk of causing birth defects, especially a high risk for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn;
- increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior, especially when taken by children, adolescents, and adults;
- weight loss;
- abnormal thinking;
- sexual dysfunction; and
- hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Depending on the severity of these side effects in the individual patient, they can range from minor inconveniences to very dangerous conditions. With many, there is a serious risk to your health and your life. If you have faced any of these serious side effects and suffered harm as a result, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
5. What is a defective products liability lawsuit?
When a manufacturer of a drug puts a defective product into the marketplace for people to buy, and that product causes harm to people, the manufacturer could be held liable for the injuries caused by the medication. Many of these products have very serious, unintended consequences that can greatly harm patients. The pharmaceutical company should be held responsible for the injuries you suffered, not you. With the right legal team at your side, you can fight for the financial compensation you deserve.
6. Can I file a lawsuit against my doctor for failure to warn?
You may file a medical malpractice claim against any doctor who did not properly advise and warn you of the possible side effects associated with antidepressants and SSRIs. These medications have known risks, and physicians are required to tell you of these risks. They are also required to give you important medical information about how your life will change while on the drug. Failure to warn you of these side effects can be considered medical malpractice in many cases.
When a doctor or other medical professional commits medical malpractice, he or she should be responsible for the injuries caused by his or her failure to warn you of the potential side effects. Discuss with your attorney the facts and circumstances of your case to better understand how this may apply to you.
7. What financial compensation can I receive?
A person injured by antidepressants is entitled to receive financial compensation in the form of money damages for any injuries that result from its use. This financial compensation may include, but is not limited to:
- cost of medical bills
- future medical costs
- rehabilitation costs
- pain and suffering
- lost wages
- loss of consortium
- damages related to loss of ability to get pregnant
- wrongful death damages
These money damages can help make you whole again and help pay for the costs you have incurred already, as well as any future costs as well. This harm to your deserves compensation so that you can move forward with your life with confidence and security.
8. What experience does your firm have with antidepressant/SSRI lawsuits?
Our firm is highly experienced in representing patients injured by the use of antidepressants and SSRIs. Our firm is also highly experienced in the area of medical malpractice law and product liability law. We understand the complicated medical issues associated with this medication, as well as how to prove that your injuries were caused by it. Our team of experts is ready to put in the time on your individual case to make sure your rights are protected.
After you have suffered harm from an antidepressant that was supposed to help, you may feel lost or scared about what comes next. With our team behind you, you can move forward confidently with your life. You do not have to face this difficult process alone.
Antidepressant and SSRI Lawyers in Philadelphia
When an antidepressant or SSRI causes you harm, you are entitled to bring a medical malpractice and/or products liability claim to receive financial compensation. The experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian have the knowledge and years of practice to fight for your rights.
Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.