Zoloft® and Cranial/Skull Birth Defects
Zoloft® (sertraline) and other antidepressant medications, known as SSRI drugs, have been linked to serious birth defects, including facial cranial deformities. Our Zoloft® attorneys are currently investigating cases that involve cranial deformities in infants whose mothers used Zoloft® while pregnant. To schedule a free review of your case, please contact us today.
Cranial and Skull Deformities in Infants
The most common skull deformity associated with Zoloft® use during pregnancy is craniosynostosis. This is a cranial defect in which one or more of the sutures (connections that separate individual skull bones) close earlier than normal. There are several types of craniosynostosis, each of which leads to different skull deformities. These congenital skull defects can be detected when there is the absence of the "soft spot" in the skull, or when it disappears early. There may also be an unusual head shape, or a hard raised ridge on the skull.
Complication of Cranial Defects
In addition to the abnormal shape of the head caused by the skull defect, cranial deformities in infants can cause pressure on the brain, and may leave the brain without enough room to grow. Without surgery, the congenital skull defects can be severe and permanent. Facial cranial deformities can lead to seizures from the pressure, and may also cause developmental delays in the affected infant.
Zoloft® Birth Defect Risk
Studies have shown that women who take Zoloft® and other SSRI drugs during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to children with skull defects and/or other congenital malformations. The exact cause of the link is unknown.
Due to the risk, healthcare providers are advised to tell female patients of childbearing age about the potential defects. These women should be taking some form of birth control while they are being treated with Zoloft® or other SSRIs. If a woman becomes pregnant while taking Zoloft®, she should not stop taking the antidepressant without consulting her doctor. Each case with be handled individually and the benefits will be weighed against the potential dangers.
Contact a Zoloft® Birth Defect Lawyer
If you were prescribed Zoloft® (sertraline) during your pregnancy and were unaware of the birth defect risk, you should consider speaking to an attorney about your right to financial compensation. You and your child might be eligible to recover compensation, even if you did know about the risk. To find out of you qualify for compensation, please contact our Zoloft® birth defect lawyers for help.
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