Zoloft and other drugs in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been linked to an increased mortality rate among patients receiving treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU). Patients who were in the ICU and taking antidepressants face a 73% increased risk of death within one year, according to a study conducted at the Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
Researchers also found that SSRIs such as Zoloft have a higher incidence of dizziness, strokes and bleeding. As a result, patients in ICU for heart conditions or recovering from heart surgery and using an antidepressant were twice as likely to die within a year compared to similar patients not taking antidepressants.
Zoloft has also been linked to an increased risk of several severe side effects, including birth defects. Women who used Zoloft during their pregnancy were much more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), atrial septal defects and other congential birth defects.