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Zoloft may increase autism risk in children

July 7th, 2011

Women who use Zoloft or other antidepressants during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child who develops autism spectrum disorder, a new study has found. The new findings were published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

According to the study, women who took Zoloft or other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were twice as likely to give birth to a child with autism spectrum disorder. Women who used one of these antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy were also more likely to have a baby that develops ASD.

Zoloft has also been liked to an increased risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Women who use Zoloft during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a child with heart defects such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), atrial or septal defects, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) or other birth defects.

Despite multiple warnings about the safety of using antidepressants such as Zoloft while pregnant, the Food and Drug Administration has not announced any plans to recall these drugs. Women who gave birth to a child with birth defects after using Zoloft or other antidepressants have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers of these drugs.

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