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Review calls for more antidepressant birth defects research

September 12th, 2014

A new review published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has called for increased research into birth defects associated with antidepressants in a class known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Zoloft. The review analyzed randomized clinical trials and found that of the 15 that met criteria to be included in the study, most provided insufficient information concerning antidepressant-related birth defects.

Past research has linked Zoloft to increased risks of birth defects among children born to women who use the antidepressant during pregnancy. A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that children born to women who used Zoloft while pregnant were twice as likely to suffer from heart defects.

According to some research, as many as 1 in 4 women experience depression during or after pregnancy, but the risks of birth defects associated with treatment may outweigh potential benefits of Zoloft treatment. Several doctors agree more studies are needed to determine use of antidepressants during pregnancy. Many women have filed Zoloft lawsuits against drug manufacturer Pfizer alleging that the antidepressant caused severe birth defects.

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