Zoloft® and Gastroschisis
Zoloft® (sertraline) is an antidepressant that belongs to the class of medications known as SSRIs. This class of antidepressants has been linked to the development of serious birth defects when taken by pregnant women. These birth defects can include congenital abdominal wall defects known as gastroschisis and omphalocele. If you were given Zoloft® during your pregnancy and gave birth to a child with an abdominal defect, we may be able to help you seek compensation for your child's injury and loss. Contact us for a free review of your case.
What is Gastroschisis?
Gastroschisis is a condition in which a baby is born with its stomach and bowel outside of the body, protruding from a small opening near the belly button. It is similar to another birth defect known as omphalocele. One of the main differences between the abdominal wall defects is that omphalocele involves the umbilical cord. Omphalocele is also often associated with other birth defects, while gastroschisis often occurs on its own.
Signs and Symptoms of Gastroschisis
There is little to distinguish gastroschisis, but it can be detected through an ultrasound. An abnormal blood test will usually mandate careful study of an ultrasound, during which the doctor might see loops of bowel floating. If it is detected prior to the birth, doctors will have a plan in place to give the baby special care during delivery. Complications after birth can include infections, and bowels that don't develop properly even after the defect has been repaired.
Depending on the severity of the abdominal defects, babies with gastroschisis will require one or more surgeries. Gastroschisis surgery involves putting the bowel back into the abdomen and closing the opening. In cases where the abdomen is underdeveloped and can't hold the organs immediately, a mesh bag is placed around them, and eventually the intestine will fall back into the cavity. Gastroschisis treatment also includes the use of antibiotics and IV feeding until the defect can be repaired.
Does Zoloft® Cause Abdominal Birth Defects?
Gastroschisis is a very rare birth defect. Its exact causes are unknown. However, studies suggest that there might be an increased risk of abdominal defects in babies who are exposed to SSRIs such as Zoloft® during pregnancy. SSRIs are among the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the world. The most popular of these drugs include:
- Zoloft® (sertraline)
- Celexa® (citalopram)
- Effexor® (venlafaxine)
- Lexapro® (escitalopram)
- Prozac® (fluoxetine)
- Paxil® (paroxetine)
Contact an SSRI Birth Defect Lawyer to Learn More
If your baby is born with gastroschisis, it can be a devastating event. Your baby will need surgery and can have other serious complications. Our birth defect attorneys recognize the severity of this defect and would like to help you and your child get answers. We will review your case for free and let you know if we feel you have a legitimate claim. If so, we will advocate for your rights and help you and your baby get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for more information.