Researchers have found that children born to women who used the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy are at an increased risk of serious and potentially fatal birth defects. Zoloft is part of a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which also includes Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro and Celexa.

According to a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who take SSRIs including Zoloft during the third trimester of pregnancy are six times more likely to give birth to a child with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) than women who did not take SSRIs. PPHN is a serious type of heart defect that causes potentially fatal circulatory problems.

Studies have also linked the use of Zoloft while pregnant to other types of heart defects. A 2007 study found that women who use the antidepressant during pregnancy were about twice as likely to give birth to children with cardiac defects, including ventricular outflow defects and septal defects. The study also found Zoloft users were almost six times more likely to give birth to a child with omphalocele (abdominal organs sticking out of the belly button) and nearly twice as likely to have a child with craniosynostosis (sutures in the infant’s skull close earlier than normal).

In addition to confirming the link between Zoloft during pregnancy and omphalocele and craniosynostosis, another study published in 2007 found that women who used an SSRI while pregnant were more than twice as likely to give birth to a child with anencephaly (absence of a large part of the brain and the skull).

If you or a loved one took Zoloft or other SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with heart defects or other birth defects, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation on the right of this page.

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