Once the most often prescribed antidepressant in the United States, Zoloft (sertraline) has been linked to a series of serious birth defects when women take it during pregnancy. Zoloft is a member of the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Many of these drugs also share the same risk of birth defects. These risks may be higher when a woman has taken these drugs immediately before becoming pregnant or during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Zoloft Pregnancy Risks Must be Weighed Against Depression Side Effects
Zoloft (sertraline) may lead to birth defects in women who took the antidepressant drug while present. However, untreated depression during pregnancy also has additional risks. Risks that come from depression during pregnancy include increased chances for miscarriage, premature delivery, low birth weight, and preeclampsia. These are serious risks that can threaten the health of the child. These risks must be weighed against the risks of birth defects.
FDA Warning – Zoloft Birth Defect Risks
In 2006, the FDA issued a warning about birth defects related to Zoloft and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These other SSRIs include such other anti depression drugs like Paxil (paroxetine), Luvox (fluvozamine), Prozac (fluoxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram), and Celexa (citalopram). Any of these drugs can be associated with birth defects that can range from mild and moderate to severe.
Birth Defects Associated with the SSRI Antidepressant Zoloft
There are several birth defects associated with Zoloft. These range from mild to severe, and some can affect a child for the rest of their lives. Some children whose mothers take Zoloft during pregnancy may develop cleft lips or palates. This occurs when the upper lip or the roof of the mouth fail to join properly. This can typically be fixed during the first year of life with relatively simple and common cosmetic surgery.
More serious defects include neural tube defects. These involve a part of the developing fetus that becomes the brain and spine while the child develops. Defects of the neural tube can include spina bifida – a disorder in which part of the spine or spinal cord does not form properly, sometimes leading parts of the spinal cord to protrude through the back. Neural tube defects can also be as severe as anencephaly, the failure of the head end of the neural tube to close, leading to the brain of the fetus never developing.
PLEASE SPEAK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE DISCONTINUING USE OF ZOLOFT OR ANY OTHER PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION.
Have You or a Loved One Given Birth to a Child with Birth Defects While On or Recently After Discontinuing Zoloft?
If you or a loved one have given birth to a child with birth defects while on or recently after discontinuing the antidepressant medication Zoloft, you may want to speak with a RI attorney regarding a potential Zoloft lawsuit. d’Oliveira & Associates, Rhode Island personal injury lawyers, are working with some of the leading lawyers in the country who are handling these cases.
Please contact the law offices of d’Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for a free legal consultation.