If you have had chronic feelings of depression or anxiety, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant for you. Although doctors have several types of antidepressants available, the type prescribed most often are Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs. If your child developed a birth defect after taking Zoloft during pregnancy, please contact us for the latest Zoloft lawsuits 2011 news.
What is an SSRI?
Scientists believe that one cause of depression or anxiety is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain. Serotonin is a naturally occurring chemical that relays signals from one part of the brain to another. Scientists theorize that a decrease in serotonin can lead to depression.
SSRIs increase the level of serotonin, relieving depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, panic and social anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Numerous SSRIs are available by prescription, including three of the most popular anti-depressants, Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac.
SSRIs were first introduced in the 1980s and have been popular because they have worked with fewer side effects than other antidepressants. General side effects include fatigue, dizziness and weight change.
SSRIs and Other Anti-Depressants
These side effects were generally mild, compared to side effects from other types of antidepressants. Tricyclic antidepressants were some of the earliest forms of medicine to treat depression. Side effects included nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, and changes to blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Another early treatment for depression, Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) block a particular enzyme, but can cause serious reactions when combined with certain foods or other medicines.
Problems with SSRIs
Although any one can experience side effects after using SSRIs, one group should be particularly cautious: pregnant women.
Studies have shown that women who used Zoloft while pregnant have a higher chance of their baby being born with a birth defect. In fact, when Zoloft is taken in the 3rd trimester, babies are more than six times as likely to develop Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn, or PPHN. This life-threatening condition occurs when a newborn does not adapt to breathing outside of the womb.
Other studies indicate that using SSRIs, including Zoloft, during pregnancy increase a baby’s risk of developing Craniosynostosis which is a birth defect impacting the growth and development of the skull. Zoloft is also associated with the development of an omphalocele, which occurs when the muscles in the abdominal wall do not completely close, allowing internal organs to push through. Zoloft is also blamed for numerous skeletal development problems, such as spina bifida and clubfoot.
In 2006, the FDA issued a warning that pregnant women should use caution when using Zoloft. The FDA has rated Zoloft and other SSRIs as a Category C drug, meaning that they’re not sure of the effect the drug has on humans, but that it had adverse effect on animals. Mothers who took Zoloft as prescribed by their doctor, only to find later about these concerning side effects, are understandably devastated, wondering if the testing procedure was thorough enough.
Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuit
If your baby was born with a birth defect after taking Zoloft while pregnant please contact us. We can talk with you to determine your legal options. There is a limited time for filing Zoloft lawsuits 2011 claims. Please contact us at your earliest convenience.