Prozac is a drug prescribed for treatment of depression and belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRI group of drugs. Like other SSRI’s, Prozac has also been found to have risks related to birth defects. It is generally prescribed for anxiety during pregnancy. But studies have revealed that Prozac like other SSRI drugs increases risk of birth defects in the unborn child if taken by mother during pregnancy.

Use of Prozac could induce several serious birth defects including congenital heart defects, neural tube defects and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborn or PPHN. This drug could also cause abdominal or cranial birth defects. It can easily pass through placenta and harm fetus by reaching to it. Thus it is fatal to use Prozac during pregnancy.

Prozac Birth Defects

Prozac could lead to several severe birth defects, which could to malformation or permanent injury to the child. Some of the Prozac birth defects are as follows –


Patients who took Prozac during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to an autistic child. Studies have also revealed that SSRIs such as Prozac increase the risk of delivering a baby with autism spectrum disorder, if taken during pregnancy. It doubles the risk of Autism in the child.

Heart Defects

Use of Prozac during pregnancy could cause congenital heart defects to unborn baby. These heart defects include Septal Defect or hole in heart wall, Coarction of the aorta or narrowing of aorta, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome or underdevelopment of left side of heart, Pulmonary Stenosis or narrowing of pulmonary valve, Tetralogy of Fallot and Transposition of the Great Arteries.


Craniosynostosis or abnormal shape of skull could also occur in the child, if mother has used Prozac during pregnancy. It could lead to abnormal shape of skull and intracranial pressure leading to underdevelopment of brain and head of the child.

Cleft Palate

Prozac use during pregnancy could also leave the child with cleft palate. In this condition parts of skull forming upper part of mouth do not fuse properly. It could lead to feeding problems, speech problems, difficulty in breathing and ear infections or loss of hearing.

Cleft Lip

Other birth defect related to Prozac is cleft lip. It is defect in the child’s upper lip and cause problem with speech and language.

Limb Deformation

Prozac could also cause limb deformation such as clubfeet in the infant. The bones, joints, muscles and blood vessels in the child’s leg have abnormal development and could lead to curving of one or both feet inward. This could cause mobility problem in the infant.

Abdominal Defects

It could also lead to several abdominal defects in the infant and could cause deformation or impairment of different abdominal organs. It could also cause closure of anus or anal atresia. In this anus is closed partially or completely.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Use of Prozac during pregnancy increases the risk of delivering a child with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). This drug could also cause Pulmonary Stenosis or narrowing of pulmonary valve.

Neural Tube Defect

Use of Prozac during pregnancy also increases chances of neural tube defect in the new born. Neural tube defect occurs due to failure of nerve cells to fuse properly in brain or spinal cod of child. Child may have missing some portions of the skull and brain. Some children even do not survive. When this defect occurs in spinal column and spinal bone do not close then Spinal cord may protrude between the unfused bones. This condition is known as Spina Bifida.

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