Zoloft is a medication for anxiety and depression that can cause birth defects. It is one of the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Both Zoloft's manufacturer and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider Zoloft unsafe for pregnant women. If you take Zoloft when you are pregnant, your child may have life-threatening birth defects. If your doctor did not warn you about this issue and encourage you to discontinue Zoloft if you were considering pregnancy, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. FDA literature says Zoloft should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit to the mother outweighs the risk to the fetus.1
Birth defects measured during animal testing
Zoloft's manufacturer has tested the medication on pregnant rats.1 The rat pups experienced severe effects from the medication, including:
- Having inadequate bone formation
- Being stillborn
- Having a low birth weight
- Dying after birth
These tests were performed using a much higher dosage than would be common in human subjects. However, the results suggest Zoloft may be unsafe for pregnant women.
FDA warning about birth defects
The FDA has issued a warning about taking Zoloft during pregnancy.2 If you use Zoloft while you are pregnant, your child could be born with persistent pulmonary hypertension. This condition could lead to dizziness, fainting, or shortness of breath, making it difficult for your child to be physically active.
If you are pregnant or considering pregnancy and your doctor has misinformed you about the risks of Zoloft relating to birth defects, you may be interested in consulting a personal injury attorney.