Zoloft Birth Defects

Zoloft Birth Defects Include PPHN and Others

Zoloft and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) used to treat depression are being increasingly associated with birth defects, from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) to defects in the heart and other major organs.

SSRIs are a class of drugs that work on the chemistry of the brain to control the flow of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with mood regulation. Doctors are continuing to prescribe Zoloft – an older and very popular SSR – but pregnant women are often not warned of the dangers to their unborn children.

Zoloft Birth Defects: PPHN

In a baby born with PPHN, the arteries in the lungs are severely restricted, and blood pressure in the heart’s pulmonary artery, which feeds the lungs, rises to dangerous levels. This results in lower oxygen levels in the blood and stress on the baby’s other major organs including the brain, liver and kidneys.

PPHN is diagnosed after birth by a chest x-ray or ultrasound test. Babies born with PPHN are in serious danger and are usually treated in the neonatal ICU with oxygen tubes and even artificial heart/lung machines.

Even with treatment, heart failure, brain hemorrhage, kidney failure, seizures, damage to other organs, and even death is possible. Lasting damage can include breathing problems, loss of hearing, developmental disorders, and seizures.

SSRIs Associated with Additional Birth Defects

In addition to PPHN, abdominal, cranial, and heart defects are also common birth defects associated with taking Zoloft during pregnancy. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned that antidepressant drugs can cause birth defects. One study showed that women who take an SSRI like Zoloft during pregnancy are six times more likely to have a baby with Zoloft birth defects.

Lawsuits Brought by Zoloft Lawyers

Lawyers are pursuing product liability and personal injury cases against the manufacturers of Zoloft and other SSRIs for birth defects such as PPHN.

If you or a loved one took Zoloft or other SSRIs during pregnancy and gave birth to a baby with birth defects, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s Zoloft lawyers at 1-888-480-1123 for a free and confidential case review today. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.