Zoloft® and Spina Bifida (Myelomeningocele)
Zoloft® is an antidepressant in the SSRI class of drugs, which have been linked to an increase in the risk of serious birth defects like spina bifida when taken during pregnancy. If your child has spina bifida and you took Zoloft® during your pregnancy, our Zoloft® attorneys can help.
Birth defects can be devastating in many ways. A birth defect lawsuit may be able to ease the burdens on your family and help you recover the compensation you need to provide your child with the highest quality of life.
What is Spina Bifida?
Spina bifida is the name for a type of neural tube defect. The neural tube is a fetal structure which ultimately becomes the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system. When the spinal cord fails to close, it is called spina bifida. There are three forms, the most minor of which is barely perceptible at birth, and may show no real signs.
The second type is spina bifida menigocele. This type involves the meninges (spinal fluid sac) protruding out through the open sections of the spinal cord. They will not contain nerves, and there is rarely any paralysis or nerve damage.
The most serious form of spina bifida is myelomeningocele, in which nerves and tissue are exposed through open holes in the back. The baby is at severe risk of infection. Most babies with this form of spina bifida will have some degree of paralysis and neurological impairment.
Can Zoloft® Cause Spina Bifida?
The exact mechanism through which Zoloft® and other SSRI drugs cause spina bifida and other types of birth defects is unknown. However, medical studies have shown that use of SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the chances of having a baby born with neural tube defects and other congenital abnormalities.
Symptoms & Treatment of Spina Bifida
There is a test for spina bifida while the fetus is still in womb, so most doctors have a plan in place by the time of the delivery. Even if the condition was not diagnosed before the birth, the signs of spina bifida are usually obvious. Spina bifida treatments will usually require surgery to the opening in the spine.
Find Out If You Qualify for a Zoloft® Birth Defect Lawsuit
Even in the most serious cases, the life expectancy for spina bifida patients is usually at least into the early adult years with proper treatments. However, these can be painful years, full of medical expenses and physical limitations.
Zoloft® lawsuits can compensate affected newborns and parents with the cost of medical expenses and future care. Compensation might also be given for pain and suffering as well as a decreased quality of life. If your baby is born with spina bifida and you took Zoloft® during your pregnancy, our Zoloft® lawyers may be able to help you. Contact us for a free review of your case.