Lexapro, also known by its generic name escitalopram, is a popular anti-depressant. The medication is used to treat depression and generalized anxiety disorder.
Lexapro belongs to a class of medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). The drug was approved in 2002 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
SSRIs such as Lexapro, work by boosting the serotonin levels in the brain. Low levels of serotonin have been associated with depression and anxiety disorders.
Lexapro Birth Defects
Recent studies have shown that mothers who take Lexapro and other SSRIs during pregnancy are 60 percent more likely to have infants with birth defects. In 2006, the FDA issued a birth defect warning to doctors and patients who take Lexapro. Several birth defects have been linked to Lexapro:
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN)
- Septal heart defects
- Spina bifida
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Enlarged heart
- Clubbed foot
- Neural tube defects
- Delayed development