Zoloft & Birth Defects

Zoloft is one of the most common antidepressants in the country. Sertraline, marketed as Zoloft, is just one drug in a large class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are regularly used to treat anxiety, depression and other mood disorders. Sadly, side effects from these supposedly helpful drugs are being passed through to children, creating serious lung conditions and other birth defects.

In fact, after a 2006 study on pregnant women taking SSRIs and consequences for their newborns, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notified healthcare professionals and consumers of a possible link between antidepressant medications—including the commonly prescribed Zoloft—and serious birth defects.

If you took Zoloft or any SSRI immediately prior to or during pregnancy and your child was born with birth defect, this may be your chance to join other mothers taking legal against the manufacturers of these dangerous drugs. Here’s what you should know:

What Birth Defects Are Linked to SSRIs Like Zoloft?

The 2006 study, reported in The New England Journal of Science, showed a link between SSRI drug use and persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) in newborns. This potentially life-threatening birth defect causes high pressure in the blood vessels of lungs and restricts the amount of critical oxygen going into the bloodstream.

In fact, when comparing the infants of mothers who did and did not take SSRIs during pregnancy, the PPHN defect was six times more common in the newborns of moms who used antidepressants like Zoloft after the 20th week of pregnancy.

What Other Signs Should I Know About?

There are additional birth defect reports linked to women who took SSRIs during the second half of their pregnancy, including babies who have a hard time feeding, are abnormally irritable and, in the rare cases, have trouble breathing. Other serious birth defects linked to Zoloft use by mothers may include:

  • club foot
  • craniosynostosis (premature fusing of skull sutures)
  • heart defects
  • limb deficits
  • omphalocele (organs protrude outside the body)
  • spina bifida

What Should I Do Next?

If you took Zoloft or another SSRI antidepressant leading up to or during pregnancy and your baby was born with a birth defect, you owe it to your child to investigate a possible claim again the SSRI drug manufacturer. Start by contacting the Law Offices of Michael A. DeMayo, L.L.P. (r) to schedule your free initial consultation.