Georgia Zoloft Lawyers
Antidepressants are often the first line of treatment for depression, anxiety and compulsive disorders. If properly prescribed, they may be effective in treating these difficult health conditions. However, what you may not know is that many of the most popular antidepressants are very dangerous to unborn children. Since September 2005, information has been emerging that certain antidepressants may cause severe and even deadly birth defects. These antidepressants, which act as Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI), have been linked to a variety of severe birth defects including:
- Cardiac Septal Defects
- Persistant Pulmonary Hypertension
- Lung Defects
- Cleft Palate
- Cranial Defects
Zoloft is a popular SSRI antidepressant prescribed for Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder. Considerable concern has been raised about Zoloft’s effect on unborn babies, similar to those raised about Paxil, another SSRI. In December of 2005, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public advisory based on U.S. research that infants that were exposed to Zoloft in the womb had a substantial increase in risk of congenital heart defects. These defects had been largely atrial and ventricular septal defects.
Septal defects are conditions in which the walls of the infant’s heart are not completely formed. In multiple large case-controlled studies, it was determined that the use of Zoloft by the mother in the course of the first trimester of pregnancy showed a 6-fold increase in the risk of omphalocele (defect of abdominal organs), a 4-fold risk to the fetus of having a congenital limb defect, and a 2 to 3-fold risk of a cardiac septal defect.
Zoloft is also associated with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) in newborns. PPHN is high blood pressure in the lungs of infants that causes blood in the pulmonary artery to be diverted away from the lungs to the newborn’s other organs. This is a life threatening condition. In 2006, the FDA issued yet another advisory based on a study that Zoloft increased the risk of PPHN 6-times the average infant population where mothers have used Zoloft during pregnancy.
Given the prevalence of major depressive disorders in women of reproductive age is thought to be 10-15%, it is probable that large numbers of pregnant women are taking Zoloft. Potential side effects have been reported to occur when the drug is taken as early as the first trimester, a time when many women do not realize they are pregnant.
Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. is currently representing families that have been affected by the use of Zoloft. We are investigating birth defect claims associated with Zoloft and are looking to work with lawyers and law firms on these claims. If you would like to discuss a potential, SSRI, birth defect related claim, please do not hesitate in contacting us.
Disclaimer: All use of the Zoloft mark is for informational and product identification purposes only. This post should not be taken as either medical or legal advice, but instead should act as a resource in providing general information that may be useful to the general public. Pope, McGlamry, Kilpatrick, Morrison & Norwood, P.C. is not affiliated with the drug manufacturer Pfizer or its distributors.