A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry has uncovered a link between additional birth complications and antidepressants such as Zoloft. The research was conducted in the Netherlands over several years and involved nearly 8,000 women. Several studies had previously linked Zoloft and other antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to an increased risk of birth defects.
According to the study, babies born to mothers using SSRIs such as Zoloft in the study had a 4 millimeter average smaller head size and more than 10% were born prematurely—twice as many as those not using an antidepressant. Both conditions have been linked to future development problems.
Two studies published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 and 2007 found that children born to mothers who use Zoloft during pregnancy were six times as likely to suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and twice as likely to suffer from septal defects as children born to mothers not using the antidepressant.