Birth Defects and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Infants

Numerous studies have found the possibility of serious side effects for patients taking Zoloft, one of a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). One study linked Zoloft in particular with a developmental birth defect called omphalocele, which causes a child to be born with part of its intestines outside the abdominal wall. Another study linked Zoloft, along with all the SSRI antidepressant drugs, to three birth defects: omphalocele and 2 defects related to brain development, anecephaly and craniosynostosis.

A 2006 study showed an increased incidence of persistent pulmonary hypertension, or PPHN, in infants whose mothers took Zoloft or other antidepressants after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Studies have also raised concerns that Zoloft might increase suicidal thoughts and suicidal activity in both children and adults when it’s used to treat depression. The FDA has issued a patient information sheet advising patients about the use of Zoloft and the risks associated with it. Patients and health care providers should watch for these symptoms:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Suicide attempts
  • Mania
  • Hypomania
  • Panic attacks
  • Severe restlessness (akathisia)
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Hostility
  • Irritability
  • Impulsive behavior

Zoloft patients have also reported painful withdrawal symptoms when they have stopped taking the drug. These withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Jolting “zaps”
  • Dizziness
  • Motor instability
  • Extreme nausea
  • Vomiting
  • High fever
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Flu symptoms
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Nightmares
  • Tremor
  • Seizures
  • Confusion

This situation is particularly serious because infants whose mothers have taken Zoloft during the pregnancy can also suffer withdrawal symptoms after birth

If you or your child is now taking Zoloft you might want to consult with your health care provider about the risks of Zoloft side effects such as suicidal thoughts and withdrawal. If you are a pregnant woman, you should urgently consult with your health care provider to discuss the risks of infant Zoloft withdrawal, congenital malformations, and PPHN. If you or your child has suffered injury or death as a result of Zoloft side effects, you may be able to recover damages for your injury. To evaluate your case, you should consult an experienced Zoloft attorney.

Check out the following articles for more information about Zoloft, filing a Zoloft lawsuit and finding a Zoloft attorney.