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Complaints Raised due to Zoloft Birth Defects

Zoloft, an antidepressant from Pfizer was on the receiving end of a number of complaints because of its connection with congenital defects. It has been reported that a number of women who took the medication when they were pregnant gave birth to babies with heart defects. Craniosynostosis, a kind of skull deformity is also associated with Zoloft use in pregnant women. Also, infants had symptoms such as seizures, tremors, irritability, constant crying and lack of oxygen in the blood. Apart from birth defects, it was also asked whether Zoloft increases suicidal thoughts in patients with major depression. Although a lot of lawsuits are filed against Zoloft, a number of them are related to birth defects.

How Zoloft Works

Zoloft is an antidepressant that is mainly prescribed for patients with major depression. This is under the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) drug class and it acts by blocking the reuptake of serotonin in the brain to maintain a balance. Our mood is greatly influenced by serotonin, a brain chemical which is excitatory in nature. Low levels of serotonin in the brain can manifest depression while high levels can show signs of mania. Zoloft is also prescribed in other cases such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Panic Disorders, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other disorders related to mood.

How Zoloft Affects the Growing Fetus

As mentioned, complaints were filed because of the numerous reports with regard to birth defects. Researches have shown that Zoloft can have an effect on the fetus when taken during pregnancy, even after the first trimester when organogenesis already took place. This results into several heart complications. Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) and Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) are the two most common heart defects associated with Zoloft use. These are rather serious conditions when left untreated. A rare lung condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) can also occur with Zoloft use. This condition is characterized by constricted arteries towards the lungs which may be the reason why the neonate’s lungs can’t fully adapt to the life outside of the utero. The amount of blood that will be carried into the lungs will be minimal due to the limitation which will result to limited oxygen into the bloodstream. The aforementioned Zoloft birth defects are very serious which is why the affected individuals decided to file lawsuits to be rightfully compensated.

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