Zoloft Lawyer

Antidepressant Birth Defects: A Zoloft Lawyer Can Help

Recent scientific evidence has shown a link between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drugs like Zoloft, and serious Zoloft birth defects like persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN). So concerning were these studies that in 2006, the FDA released a public health advisory warning physicians to be cautious when prescribing SSRIs to pregnant women, and asked all manufacturers to update their prescribing information to include the new warning.

In 2009, a court ordered manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline to pay $2.5 million to the plaintiff, who had given birth to a child with serious heart defects after taking Paxil, another SSRI antidepressant. Since then, more parents in similar situations have sought the advice of a Zoloft lawyer.

Studies Indicate Increased Risk of PPHN

PPHN is a serious and life-threatening lung condition that affects newborns and makes it difficult for them to get the oxygen they need for normal functioning. Babies with PPHN maintain a high blood pressure in the lungs, which makes it difficult for the lungs to take over the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange that is required of them.

A 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that women who took SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN.

Zoloft Heart Defects

Though an increased risk of PPHN was the most serious finding of recent studies, there has been evidence of a link between SSRIs and other Zoloft birth defects. The New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found that women who took Zoloft early in pregnancy had twice the risk of giving birth to a child with a heart defect. A 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal seemed to echo the results, again finding an increased risk of heart defects, specifically, septal heart defects. Finally, a 2010 study in the American Journal of Nursing added additional evidence, linking SSRI antidepressants with congenital heart defects.

Other Zoloft Birth Defects

Additional Zoloft birth defects of concern include abdominal defects and cranial defects. Researchers analyzed data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants and found a connection between women who took an SSRI like Zoloft and risk of craniosynostosis (abnormally shaped head which requires surgery), and omphalocele (where the intestines or other abdominal organs protrude from the belly button).

FDA Classifies Zoloft Birth Defects

So far, the FDA has classified Zoloft as a Category C drug, which means that animal studies have found an increased risk of harm to unborn children. With the new scientific evidence, however, there is speculation that the agency may soon change the classification to Category D, which indicates human studies have also shown an increased risk of fetal harm. Paxil, a similar SSRI medication, has already been changed to a Category D.

A Zoloft Lawyer Can Determine Your Eligibility for a Zoloft Lawsuit

Many parents are unaware of the risks associated with SSRI antidepressants. Some feel the makers of Zoloft have not provided adequate warnings to healthcare professionals or the public. If your child was born with a Zoloft birth defect like PPHN or a heart defect, and you took Zoloft during pregnancy, a Zoloft lawyer may be able to help you win compensation for medical expenses. Contact Chaffin Luhana LLP today to determine your eligibility for a Zoloft lawsuit at 1-888-480-1123.