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Zoloft® and PPHN

Zoloft® is a brand name antidepressant, generically known as sertraline. It is in the class of drugs called SSRIs, which can regulate mood by manipulating the levels of serotonin in the brain. Clinical studies have shown that if taken during pregnancy Zoloft® and other SRRI antidepressants might increase the risk of certain birth defects, including a disorder called persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN).

What is PPHN?

PPHN stands for persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns. It is a condition in which the newborn's arteries to the lungs are constricted after the birth. This limits the amount of blood that can flow into the lungs in order to be oxygenated and spread throughout the body. Symptoms of PPHN include:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bluish looking skin

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns is a life-threatening condition. Approximately 10-20 percent of PPHN cases are fatal. Treatments can include surgery, lung transplants and in rare cases a heart transplant may also be required.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns and Zoloft®

Our Zoloft® attorneys are currently investigating the link between Zoloft® and PPHN, which has been suggested through medical studies. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 found that PPHN was six times more likely when the mother used an SSRI like Zoloft® in the last few months of a pregnancy.

Based on these findings, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory about the increased risk of PPHN in babies born to women who took SSRIs after the 20 th week of pregnancy. The FDA warning was issued in 2006 and stated that the risk was 6 time greater for infants whose mothers took an SRRI during pregnancy.

The FDA asked physicians to carefully consider prescribing SSRI antidepressants to pregnant women and to discuss the potential risks with all patients of childbearing age.

Contact a Zoloft® Lawyer about a Birth Defect Lawsuit

If your baby developed PPHN and you took Zoloft® or another SSRI after the 20th week of your pregnancy, contact our Zoloft® birth defect lawyers today. We will assess your individual claim to determine if a lawsuit is right for you. We can help you seek compensatory damages whether your child survived PPHN or not. Contact us for compassionate, yet highly qualified legal representation.