Known generically as sertraline, Zoloft is a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer. Zoloft gained U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 1991 to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
The FDA has classified Zoloft as having a Category C pregnancy risk.
In a study published by Obstetrics and Gynecology International in 2012, researchers observed an increase in heart defects in children born to women who took an SSRI antidepressant, like Zoloft, during pregnancy. However, a number of studies looking into Zoloft birth defects lack a consistent design, and thus, the results are less useful to those trying to determine the risks of using an SSRI while pregnant.
Since these SSRI birth defects studies have demonstrated a direct link between SSRIs and birth defects in babies, the FDA has not reclassified Zoloft as posing more of a serious risk if taken during pregnancy. Still, there are cases of women whose children were born with a congenital heart defect after being exposed to Zoloft in the womb.
When taken during pregnancy, Zoloft has been known to cause congenital heart defects, including ventricular septal defects (VSD) and atrial septal defects (ASD). These types of heart defects are also called holes in the heart.
A newborn with a VSD has a hole in the septum that separates the heart’s two lower chambers. A newborn with ASD has a hole in the septum that separates the heart’s two upper chambers.
Signs that a child may has a VSD or ASD are an insufficient appetite, inadequate growth, tiredness, breathing problems, and poor lung health. Apart from these signs, doctors can easily detect if a child has a VSD or ASD by listening to their heart for a heart murmur.
If you used Zoloft while pregnant, and your child developed a congenital heart defect, your Zoloft birth defects case may qualify you and your family for compensation. Discuss your case and legal options with a Carey Danis & Lowe Zoloft birth defects attorney. Our initial consultations are free.
Carey Danis & Lowe Zoloft attorneys are highly experienced in handling personal injury claims and pharmaceutical litigation involving SSRI antidepressants and birth defects. We work closely alongside medical experts and our clients to develop strong cases.
For more information about Zoloft and congenital heart defects, and for assistance with filing a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, contact Carey Danis & Lowe by phone at 800.721.2519, or by completing a confidential personal injury claim.