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Other Heart Defects

Researchers have linked the use of the antidepressant Zoloft to an increased risk of a number of serious heart defects in newborns, including ventricular outflow defects, septal defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), tetralogy of Fallot, coarctation of the aorta, transposition of the great arteries and hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

According to a 2006 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, ventricular outflow defects and septal defects were the most commonly reported heart defects among women who took Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy. That same year, the Food and Drug Administration warned that women who took Zoloft after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to a child with PPHN.

Studies have also linked Zoloft to an increased risk of other serious heart defects, including:

  • Cleft mitral valve: A small hole present in the valve that separates the two chambers on the left side of the heart: the left ventricle and left atrium. This opening can cause mitral regurgitation, in which blood flows in the wrong direction inside the heart.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA): Failure of the ductus arteriosus—which separates the aorta and pulmonary artery before the baby is born—to close after delivery. This can lead to fatigue and other problems in newborns.
  • Cardiomyopathy: Weakening of the heart muscle or changes in its structure that makes it harder for the heart to pump blood through the body.
  • Bicuspid aortic valve: Children born with this condition have only two leaflets in the aortic valve instead of the normal three, which may narrow the aortic valve or cause blood to leak.
  • Tricuspid stenosis: A narrowing or blockage of the tricuspid valve, the structure which separates the right ventricle from the right atrium. This can lead to an enlargement of the right atrium of the heart.

If you or a loved one took Zoloft or other SSRI antidepressants while pregnant and gave birth to a child with congenital heart defects or other birth defects, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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