Zoloft Birth Injuries
Experienced Corpus Christi Birth Injury Lawyers
A popular antidepressant drug, Zoloft (also called sertraline) is a selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) used to balance brain chemistry to
alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder,
and/or panic. It is often used to treat not only depression and various
panic and anxiety disorders but also severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder
(PMDD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well.
Until fairly recently, Zoloft came with no warnings against use by pregnant
women and was often prescribed to pregnant women to ease anxiety and depression.
However, more recent inquiries and studies have shown a high correlation
between the use of Zoloft during pregnancy and birth injuries and defects.
If you were prescribed Zoloft while pregnant and your child was born with
birth injuries or defects, you may be entitled to compensation. It is
important that you contact an experienced birth injury lawyer who can
help you understand your legal options.
Call Bandas Law Firm, P.C. at (361) 238-2789 to speak to our Corpus Christi
birth injury attorneys during a free initial consultation. There are never
any fees until we successfully secure compensation for you.
Prescribing “C” Class Antidepressants to Pregnant Women
First introduced over 20 years ago in the early 1990s by Pfizer, Zoloft
quickly became one of the most popularly prescribed antidepressants on
the market. Testing proved that the drug had some harmful effects on animals
during testing, and so it was given a “C” classification by
the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because it was not
tested on infants, however, no side effects regarding infants, birth injuries,
or birth defects were reported. Thus, doctors continued to prescribe Zoloft
to pregnant women and women attempting to conceive.
As of 2005, researchers and doctors have known that Zoloft use during early
stages of pregnancy can cause a 3-5% increase in the likelihood that babies
will be born with heart defects. According to one doctor, the reason to
continue prescribing Zoloft during pregnancy had to do with balancing
the Zoloft birth injury risks associated with SSRI use against the risks
of letting a pregnant woman with depression go untreated.
Birth Injuries & Defects Associated with Zoloft
In addition to a small (but significant) increase in the chance of a baby
developing a heart defect, mothers taking Zoloft during pregnancy should
be aware of the other Zoloft birth injuries and defects associated with
Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) – Most associated with the use of Zoloft in the second and third
trimesters, PPHN occurs when, according to the FDA, “a newborn baby
does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. Newborns with PPHN may require
intensive care support including a mechanical ventilator to increase their
oxygen level. If severe, PPHN can result in multiple organ damage, including
brain damage, and even death.”
Anencephaly – A neural tube defect (NTD), anencephaly occurs when a baby is born
missing parts of the brain and/or skull. Increased rates of anencephaly
are mainly associated with the use of Zoloft and other SSRIs in the third
Cleft palate – Risk of a cleft lip or palate is also elevated in cases in which
a mother takes SSRIs throughout pregnancy.
Who Is at Fault in a Zoloft Birth Injury Case?
If a mother is prescribed Zoloft during pregnancy and her baby suffers
birth injuries and/or defects, the fault may lie on the doctor who prescribed
the antidepressant and/or on the drug’s manufacturer, as well. If,
for example, you were prescribed Zoloft during pregnancy and your doctor
was aware of but did not warn you about potential injury to your baby,
they should be liable for the damages that resulted from taking Zoloft
during your pregnancy.
At the same time, the manufacturer of the drug is responsible for giving
proper warnings about when and how the drug should or should not be taken.
Without these warnings in place, you have the right to pursue a case against
them if your baby suffers a birth defect or injury as a result of Zoloft
use during pregnancy.
If you or someone you love was prescribed Zoloft during pregnancy, you
may have a Zoloft birth injury case. For a free consultation, fill out
our online contact form or call us at (361) 238-2789.