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Was the Anti-Depressant Zoloft to Blame For Your Child's Birth Defect?

The antidepressant Zoloft, when taken during pregnancy, has been found to more than triple the risk of serious and deadly birth defects. Another study suggests that risk of birth defects is increased by as much as six times. Currently, the following anti-depressants are linked to birth defects:

  • Zoloft
  • Paxil
  • Prozac
  • Celexa
  • Lexapro

Babies whose mothers took Zoloft before or during pregnancy are significantly more likely to suffer a birth defect of the:

  • Heart
  • Brain/Spine
  • Head/Face
  • Limbs
  • Abdomen

Birth Injuries Caused by Zoloft

Pregnant women's use of Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride), an antidepressant also known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), has been linked to serious and life-threatening birth defects, such as:

  • 3 times the risk of infant heart defects
  • 6 times the risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN)
  • Spina Bifida/Neural Tube Defects
  • Club Foot
  • Abdominal and Cranial Birth Defects

Please know that if you or a loved one took Zoloft during your pregnancy and gave birth to a child with birth defects, you are not alone. The experienced Florida dangerous drugs attorneys at The Trial Professionals are prepared to fight for your rights immediately. We are prepared to argue that Pfizer, Zoloft's manufacturer, was manufacturing a dangerous drug and not warning mothers about the risks. Even if it is too late to reverse the damage to your own baby, you may save other parents from experiencing what you have gone through.


Litigation involving dangerous drugs and other mass torts is often subject to special rules and procedures and usually handled in one centralized jurisdiction.

Infant Heart Defects Associated With Zoloft


Heart defects caused by drugs like Zoloft may include:

  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) – a hole in the wall between the hearts two upper chambers
  • Ventral Septal Defects (VSD) – a hole in the wall between the hearts two lower chambers
  • Cardiomyopathy - (heart disease)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) – underdeveloped left side of heart
  • Hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS) – underdeveloped right side of heart
  • Bicuspid aortic valve – defect where only 2 leaflets of the valve form, instead of 3
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries – the aorta and pulmonary artery are switched
  • Tricuspid stenosis – narrowing of the tricuspid valve
  • Cleft mitral valve – a slit, or elongated hole, in one of the heart leaflets
  • Tetralogy of Fallot – a defect involving 3 abnormalities causing low oxygenation of blood

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN)

Research from a 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that maternal use of antidepressants, such as Zoloft, increases the risk of PPHN by 6 times. The research also showed that PPHN is more likely to occur when the mother took Zoloft in her third trimester.

  • PPHN – A condition in which the newborn's circulation system does not adapt to breathing outside of the womb, which can lead to a lack of oxygen in the infant's brain and long-term developmental problems.

Spina Bifida/Neural Tube Defects

Maternal use of antidepressants, such as Zoloft, during pregnancy may increase the risk of infants to be born with Spina Bifida and other neural tube defects (NTDs) - defects of the brain and spinal cord.

  • Spina Bifida – An NTD in which the fetal spinal column does not close completely during the first month of pregnancy. It can lead to paralysis.
  • Anencephaly – A devastating NTD in which there is underdevelopment of the brain and skull. It is a fatal condition, and babies are stillborn or pass away shortly after birth.

Club Foot

Research shows that some women who took antidepressants throughout their pregnancies gave birth to children with club foot malformation, according to University of Ulm, Germany's Institute of Reproductive Toxicity and Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center.

  • Club Foot – A malformation of the bones, joints, muscles and blood vessels in the foot, causing it to be inturned and unable to be brought to a normal position

Abdominal and Cranial Birth Defects

The National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants released information that links Zoloft and other antidepressants to two congenital abnormalities: Omphalocele and Craniosynostosis.

  • Omphalocele – Abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord
  • Craniosynostosis – Cranial skull defect causing abnormal head shape

Did Zoloft Cause My Baby’s Birth Defect?

If your baby was born with a birth defect that may be the result of exposure to Zoloft, you may be eligible to file a claim against Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer for compensation. Call us today for a free consultation to learn more about your legal rights and options.

You are Not at Fault

Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer should have warned mothers about the risk of birth defects when Zoloft is taken before or during pregnancy. Instead, Zoloft drug labels did not explain the full range of adverse side effects, particularly those that endanger innocent babies. Pfizer must learn that such negligence will not be tolerated and that parents of babies who were harmed by Zoloft will fight back.

Take a Stand

Although compensation cannot reverse the damage to your family, it will help provide the very best future for your child. Also, your actions may encourage Pfizer to change their drug warnings in time to prevent other families from experiencing your difficult situation. The Florida Zoloft attorneys of The Trial Professionals are not afraid to take on Pfizer and fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.


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