SSRIs and Birth Defects

Zoloft®, also known as sertraline, is a drug prescribed for the treatment of various conditions, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social phobia/social anxiety disorder.

Zoloft has been on the market since 1991 and belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor class of pharmaceuticals (SSRIs), which are mood regulation drugs that have come under increased scrutiny because of their link to serious, adverse side effects.

Is Zoloft Dangerous?

According to The New England Journal of Medicine, the use of Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of major congenital malformations affecting the heart, intestines, and limbs of newborn babies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reports that one study showed infants born to mothers who took SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) than infants born to mothers who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.

What Is Persistent Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)?

Mothers who take SSRI drugs like Zoloft may have a child born with this serious condition, which occurs when a newborn is unable to adapt to breathing outside the womb. This results in the child suffering from abnormal blood flow through the heart and lungs, leading to a lack of oxygen supplied to the rest of the body. Babies with PPHN can become very sick, and the condition may be fatal.

What Should I Do if My Child Was Born with a Birth Defect or PPHN?

If you or someone you love took Zoloft and had a child born with birth defects or PPHN, contact our drug injury lawyers immediately for a free and confidential case evaluation. We want to help.

Zoloft® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. and is used here only to identify the product in question.

This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with The New England Journal of Medicine, Pfizer Inc., or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Do not stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting with your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death. 

Cases may be referred to another attorney or law firm.