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Zoloft linked to preterm birth, seizures according to new study

June 7th, 2012

Mothers who use the antidepressant Zoloft may be more likely to go into labor early or have a child who suffers from seizures, according to a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study included nearly 229,000 infants born between 1995 and 2007.

Cases of preterm birth and seizures among the infants were generally related to the amount of antidepressant used and the stage of pregnancy at which it was ingested. Women who used the drug during the second trimester were more likely to have smaller children and go into labor early, while women who used the drug during the third trimester were more likely to have children who suffered from seizures.

The study tentatively links Zoloft to additional increased pregnancy risks. The drug, in a class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), has been linked to several other side effects, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), heart defects and other congenital birth defects.

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