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Zoloft® and Transposition of the Great Arteries

The antidepressant Zoloft® and other SSRI drugs might increase the risk of congenital heart defects in babies that are exposed to the medications during the first trimester of development. One of the heart defects that has been linked to SSRI use is a rare condition called transposition of the great arteries, in which the heart's two main arteries are flip-flopped.

What is Transposition of the Great Arteries?

Blood from the body is pumped to the heart and then through the pulmonary artery to the lungs, where it is oxygenated. The blood then travels back out of the heart through the aorta to nourish the body. When the main arteries are reversed, it changes the way the blood is circulated throughout the body and creates a shortage of oxygen in the blood that flows from the heart through the rest of the body.

Infants with transposition of the great arteries will usually be diagnosed right after birth. In some cases, it can take a week for the symptoms to arise. If your infant experiences any of the following signs, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible:

  • The skin is a bluish color
  • Lack of appetite and poor weight gain
  • Shortness of breath

Treatment and Complications

In many cases, surgery will be required. If surgery is not performed in the more severe cases, the results can be fatal within six months. Even with surgery, affected patients might be at risk of the following complications:

  • Leaky heart valves
  • Narrowing of the arteries in the heart
  • Abnormal heartbeats
  • Stiff, weak muscles

While most patients will be treated with surgery, doctors might recommend other options before surgery, including medication and a procedure called atrial septostomy, in which a catheter is used to connect the upper chambers of the heart.

Transposition of the great arteries can usually be treated effectively. But, any type of heart defect can be worrisome. Our birth defect lawyers recognize the devastation that is associated with congenital heart defects and would like to help you and your baby seek compensation for the medical costs as well as the emotional suffering you've been forced to deal with.

Find Out if You Qualify for Zoloft® Birth Defects Lawsuit

If you took Zoloft® during the beginning stages of pregnancy and your baby is born with transposition of the great arteries or another congenital heart defect, we may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your loss. Find out how by contacting our Zoloft® birth defect lawyers today. All initial case reviews are free of charge.