Zoloft and Some Antidepressants May Cause Congenital Birth Defects

An ideal condtiton for pregnancy cannot always be attained by childbearing women. There will times when a situation would come needing immediate attention and treatment. In cases when a pregnant patient is diagnosed to have mood disorders or depression, a doctor may give her medication to address this problem. Such medicine would be in the form of drug called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) like Zoloft, which is also believed to be linked to miscarriage among pregnant women.

Zoloft is a drug prescribed by doctors to treat a range of disorders from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, social anxiety disorder, to panic attacks. Zoloft is a widely popular antidepressant and is manufactured by Pfizer. However, there are emerging studies that link this drug to several birth defects in newborns born to women who took this medicine during pregnancy.

One of the reasons for concern among pregnant users of this drug is that it may cause congenital heart defects among newborns. Congenital heart defects (CHD) are abnormalities in the heart which occur at birth. The National Institutes of Health reported that congenital heart defects cause more deaths in a person’s first year than any other birth defects. Some causes of CHD point to genetic disorders but mostly, its cause is unknown. In the early weeks of pregnancy, when there is abnormal or incomplete development of the fetus’ heart, congenital heart defects usually happen.

An article in the British Medical Journal published in September 2009 reports of women who take antidepressants in their first trimester were two times more likely to give birth to newborns with heart defects than normal. The American Journal of Nursing study in 2010 also came to the same conclusion that placed developing fetuses at a risk of acquiring heart defects, namely atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects.

The FDA classifies Zoloft as a drug which could be potentially harmful to the baby but is believed that its benefits outweigh its risks. If you or someone you know is pregnant while taking this drug, it is best to consult a doctor regarding treatment. It is ill-advised to abruptly stop taking medication which was prescribed to you. Your doctor might find for you a better alternative to Zoloft.

If you find yourself or a loved one falling victim to one of the side effects caused by Zoloft, you could always contact a lawyer to discuss legal options. You may have a free consultation if you wish to know whether you have a valid claim against manufacturers of these defective products.

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