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New study links Zoloft, other antidepressants to risks of brain bleeding

October 22nd, 2012

A new study in medical journal Neurology has linked Zoloft and other antidepressants in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to bleeding in the brain. Researchers pooled together data on more than 500,000 people from 16 previous studies to determine the risks of brain bleeding.

Overall, people using Zoloft or other SSRIs were 40 to 50 percent more likely to suffer from bleeding in or around the brain, which is a primary cause of hemorrhagic strokes. Researchers found the risk was greatest in the first month after beginning treatment with an antidepressant such as Zoloft.

Zoloft has also been linked to an increased risk of severe birth defects among women who use the drug during pregnancy. Possible side effects include an increased risk of preterm birth, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and congenital birth defects.

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