SAN FRANCISCO, CA, September 05, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Sometimes women become pregnant unexpectedly, while they are still being treated for mild depression or anxiety. When that happens, the women are faced with a huge dilemma, go forward with the exciting prospect of being mothers or terminating their pregnancies because of some unknown risk as a result of the medications.
Other mothers who struggle with significant psychological or psychiatric challenges have hard decisions to make. Sometimes they need medications to keep their psychological symptoms at bay. During pregnancy, they must weigh their babies' potential side effects against what might happen if the medications are stopped.
Each year, many babies are born with birth defects whose mothers took antidepressants when they unknowingly became pregnant or were told by their doctors that it was safe to continue taking the medications while pregnant. One of the most controversial antidepressant medications due to its alleged link to birth defects is Zoloft.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft is Pfizer Inc.'s brand name for the antidepressant medication sertraline. Zoloft is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI
thought to improve certain mental health problems by raising the level of serotonin, a naturally occurring brain chemical that affects mood. Zoloft is used to treat several conditions, including:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD
- Panic disorder or panic attacks
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder or PMDD
- Social anxiety disorder or SAD
Zoloft and pregnancy
Many different studies have examined the question: does Zoloft when taken during pregnancy hurt the newborn baby? The results are mixed. However, certain studies have linked birth defects and infant health problems to their mothers who took Zoloft while pregnant. These side effects include:
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, known as PPHN, a lung problem documented in a 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue an FDA Alert for medical professionals
- Heart defects in the septum, a tissue wall separating the two sides of the organ
- Premature birth
- Newborn behavioral syndrome causing breathing difficulty and seizures
- And more
Seek legal advice
Any parent whose baby was exposed in utero to Zoloft or another SSRI should discuss any birth defects or other health problems experienced by the child with an experienced personal injury attorney. Call or consult with an attorney to learn about potential legal options like a medical malpractice or defective drug lawsuit.
*Zoloft is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. The use of this trademark is for product identification and informational purposes only. Nothing stated in this article has been authorized or approved by Pfizer.Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP
, with offices in California, New York and Tennessee, represents families across the United States who have children with birth defects caused by the use of antidepressants.