The SSRI antidepressant drug Zoloft® has been found to increase the risk of life-threatening birth defects in infants.
Zoloft Lawsuit Update: On July 4, 2011, a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry announced that children born to mothers who took an SSRI antidepressant like Zoloft during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing a number of birth defects such asautism or autism-spectrum disorders.
If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with any of the birth defects listed in this article after taking Zoloft while pregnant, you should contact our lawyersimmediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
What’s the problem with Zoloft?
Approved by the FDA in 1991, Zoloft is used by millions of Americans for anxiety and depression. More specifically, pregnant women have been prescribed Zoloft to help with the anxiety involved with their pregnancy. However, mounting evidence and case studies have linked Zoloft to a number of life-threatening birth defects including:
- Autism-spectrum disorders
- Heart Defects (commonly known as ‘hole in the heart’) – Atrial Septal Defects (ASD) & Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Abdominal Defects – Omphalocele
- Cranial Defects – Craniosynostosis
- Club Foot
- Anal Atresia
- Heart / Lung Defects – Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
A 2006 report published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) showed that babies born to mothers who took SSRIs like Zoloft during the second half of pregnancy had a significantly increased risk of being born with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). PPHN is a rare but extremely serious birth defect in which newborns experience abnormal blood flow through their heart and lungs. The pulmonary arteries do not fully open and blood is not oxygenated, resulting in their tissues and organs not receiving enough oxygen. Signs and symptoms of PPHN include (but are not limited to):
- Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
- Rapid heart rate
- Respiratory distress
- Heart murmur
- Low oxygen levels
According to a similar study published in the British Medical Journal, women who take SSRI antidepressants late in pregnancy are two times more likely to give birth to a child with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn.
Unfortunately, about ten percent of babies born with PPHN die, while others require long-term medical treatment in order to survive. Even moderate cases of PPHN can still cause significant hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, developmental and / or neurological problems.
More problems with Zoloft
In addition to birth defects in newborn babies, Zoloft has also been associated with liver problems, convulsions, hallucinations, agitation, anxiety, psychosis and mania. Zoloft can also cause certain individuals to become hostile or aggressive. Additionally, Zoloft can cause a medical condition called akathisia or hyperkinesia, which is characterized by severe agitation, sometimes accompanied by motor restlessness (inability to sit still, feeling the need to pace, etc.).
Do I have a Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Zoloft birth defects lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has given birth to a child with any of the birth defects listed in this article after taking Zoloft while pregnant, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.