Zoloft Birth Defects

A number of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) Drugs, such as Zoloft, are not without adverse side effects. The use of Zoloft by pregnant women has been found to be associated with a range of harmful defects that develop within the newborn child.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

In 2011, a warning was issued by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of SSRIs such as Zoloft and the likelihood of developing a rare heart and lung condition called PPHN. Due to this defect, newborn babies are not able to adapt to breathing outside the womb and may have to be put onto the ventilator for intensive care. In severe cases, PPHN may result in multiple organ damage including brain damage and even death.

A number of studies have been conducted that reveal a strong association between the use of SSRIs during pregnancy and the occurrence of PPHN. The study by Chambers et al. in 2006 found a six-fold increase in PPHN among babies born to mothers who were exposed to SSRIs some 2.5 months into their pregnancy. In a more recent study by Källén, et al, it was reported that if Zoloft is taken during the first trimester of pregnancy, the chances of the newborn child developing PPHN would significantly go up.


Craniosynostosis is a severe condition that prevents the brain from growing in the natural way and causes the head to become deformed. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 revealed an association between the use of SSRIs such as Zoloft and the occurrence of craniosynostosis. A study carried out by Alwan et al. found an increased risk of craniosynostosis among infants born to mothers who were exposed to SSRI drugs during pregnancy.


It is a type of hernia in which intestines or other abdominal organs of the baby grow out of the navel. The study by Alwan et al. also reported an association between the occurrence of omphalocele among newborns and mothers who had been prescribed an SSRI drug such as Zoloft.

Multiple congenital birth defects and malformations

In May 2013, parents of a child born with heart defects in New York filed a lawsuit against Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft. They claimed that their son developed serious permanent defects due to using Zoloft that was prescribed to the mother during pregnancy. In 2003, it was discovered after his birth that he had developed multiple congenital birth defects as well as malformations that included severe Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS). The latter is a condition that leads to the narrowing of the heart valve, adversely affecting the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It can cause shortness of breath, pain in the chest and potentially even cause the heart to fail, that can turn out to be fatal. The child underwent a surgery to enlarge the narrowed heart valve but the procedure didn't prove to be effective.

AVS is thus a permanent birth defect with which the child will have to struggle for the rest of his or her life. In the lawsuit, it was asserted that Pfizer was aware or should have been aware of the serious birth defects linked with Zoloft and should have clearly informed the public and health care providers about the potential risks.


According to a study that was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, children whose mothers are exposed to Zoloft during pregnancy are twice as likely as other children to develop autism or a related condition. The risk is particularly higher in cases where Zoloft is used early on in the pregnancy. The study revealed that children who were exposed to Zoloft during the first trimester were four times more likely to develop autism as compared to other children.

Legal Help in Cases of Zoloft-related Birth Defects

If your child has developed a birth defect that has been linked to the use of Zoloft by the mother, you may be eligible for filing a lawsuit against the drug's manufacturer. It is preferable that you contact a law firm that has an expertise in dealing with Zoloft birth defect lawsuits. Depending on your case, an attorney will assist you in filing a lawsuit and claiming financial compensation for the expenses incurred during treatment as well as for the pain and suffering borne by the mother and child due to the inflicted injuries.

To request more information related to your case, please fill out the form on this page.
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Q:Does zoloft cause birth defects in babies?

A:Zoloft can result in several birth defects if used in pregnancy. The drug can have severe effects on the development and functioning of various organs in the baby. Major birth defects include Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), craniosynostosis, Omphalocele, autism, and various other genital birth defects and malformations.

Q:How can I file a lawsuit for birth defects from Zoloft?

A:If you wish to file a lawsuit for birth defects due to Zoloft, you will need to look for a lawyer who has experience in similar Zoloft related cases. The lawyer will guide you about the procedure and will also estimate the amount of compensation, based on your case. For free consultation, you can fill out a quick form available on our website.

Q:I have heard of several Zoloft birth defects. Can I stop taking the medicine immediately?

A:It is true that Zoloft is associated with a number of birth defects. However, it is recommended that you contact your doctor immediately before stopping the medicine on your own. Drugs like Zoloft usually have withdrawal side effects. To avoid any adverse effects, it is best to consult a doctor first.