Zoloft Birth Defects
Zoloft is a commonly prescribed medication that treats anxiety disorders and has been connected with increasing the risk of birth defects in infants whose mothers took the medication during pregnancy.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Medicine in June 2009, Zoloft was linked to congenital heart defects including atrial septal defect (ASD) and ventricular septal defect (VSD). These conditions are characterized by a hole in the chambers of the heart. The study found that when taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, Zoloft doubled infants' risk of developing the disease.
A life-threatening condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension has also been connected to Zoloft treatments. The condition causes high pressure in blood vessels in the lungs and has been found to be six times more common in infants whose mothers took Zoloft during pregnancy than those who did not.
Women who took Zoloft while pregnant and experienced complications may wish to talk to a lawyer about their legal options.
Babies typically show symptoms of ASD or VSD during the first few weeks or months after birth. Common symptoms include:
- Increased rate of breathing
- Swelling of the feet, legs or abdomen
- Heart murmur
- Bluish color of skin, lips or fingernails
- Lung infections
- Poor eating
- Rapid heart rate
Symptoms may vary and may not be detected for years or until heart failure or shortness of breath occur.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension
Persistent pulmonary hypertension is a serious disorder of the lungs that causes the arteries to constrict, which strains blood flow through vessels.
Symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Bluish lips and skin
- Chest pain
- Irregular heart beat
- Shortness of breath caused by activity
This condition may be diagnosed through a physical exam and through other testing methods.