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Zoloft users may qualify for a birth defects lawsuit

September 29th, 2011

Women who used the antidepressant Zoloft while pregnant and gave birth to a child with birth defects may be eligible to file a lawsuit against its manufacturers. The Food and Drug Administration has warned that the use of Zoloft during pregnancy can increase the risk of heart defects and other birth defects.

Concerns about the link between Zoloft and birth defects were raised in 2006, when the FDA warned that taking Zoloft after the 20th week of pregnancy could increase the risk of a circulatory condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). According to the FDA warning, women who used Zoloft after the 20th week were six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN.

Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine has also linked Zoloft to other congenital birth defects. A 2007 study published in the medical journal found that women who used Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy were more likely to give birth to a child with heart defects—including ventricular outflow tract obstruction defects and septal defects—or other congenital birth defects.

The FDA has advised patients to talk with their doctors about the potential risk of birth defects they may face by using Zoloft during pregnancy. Despite research linking the drug to an increased risk of birth defects, the FDA has not announced plans to issue a Zoloft recall.

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