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Patients who have suffered serious side effects or injuries due to taking an antidepressant may be able to file a claim for defective products liability. Many antidepressants that are commonly prescribed by doctors are included in a drug classification called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Common antidepressants include:

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• Fluvoxamine
• Zoloft
• Celexa
• Serzone
• Effexor
• Prozac
• Lexapro
• Paxil
• Symbyax

Reports of serious side effects due to prescription antidepressants have increased in recent years. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of common antidepressants due to the side effects patients have suffered. These suits are generally filed on the grounds of products liability. In this type of lawsuit, the plaintiff seeks to be compensated for injuries they suffered due to using the consumer product. Common claims in lawsuits against drug manufacturers include that the side effects caused by taking the drug are unreasonably dangerous and that the doctor, pharmacy, or drug manufacturer failed to adequately warn or instruct the consumer regarding using a particular drug.

Anti-Depressant Side Effects

The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings in recent years that link using SSRIs to a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This condition is considered life-threatening. When a woman takes SSRIs during pregnancy, her baby is at risk of developing “persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn”. This is a serious condition. Adults, adolescents, and children who take SSRIs are at an increased risk for suicidal behavior and thoughts. Some harmful side effects have been linked to certain antidepressants. The FDA has issued a warning concerning the drug Serzone because it has been linked with liver damage.

Potential Claim Evaluation

It is helpful for patients to have all the information they need before deciding if their legal claim for defective products liability is valid. Usually the patient must prove three things to win their lawsuit. The first thing they have to prove is that they were injured. The second is that the antidepressant caused side effects that were unreasonably dangerous and they were not warned properly by the manufacturer, doctor or pharmacy. The third thing they must prove is that their injury was caused by the antidepressant.

In cases where products liability is being claimed, the second and third issues are most important. The defendants are likely to fight against claims that the drug they manufacture caused injury to a patient. They will also fight against claims that the patient was not properly warned.

Class Action Lawsuits

Most of the time there are many patients taking the same drug who experience similar side effects. Joining together in a class action lawsuit is another way to file suit against the drug manufacturer. Patients who are considering filing suit may be able to join a class action lawsuit that has already been filed by other people who have experienced the same serious side effects they have experienced from taking the same drug.

Getting Help

Lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for defective products are usually complicated and are not the type of lawsuits where most consumers can represent themselves effectively. Patients who file this type of case may want to retain a lawyer who specializes in cases related to drugs or products liability.