Zoloft May be Assocoated with Limb Reduction Defects in Certain Cases
“When the mother has been taking an SSRI antidepressant, increasing her risk by 240%, we must hold responsible the doctor who prescribed it, the drug company who manufactured and falsely promoted it, and the medical establishment that covers up and minimizes the drastic hazards associated with these toxic chemicals, including risks to adults, children and the unborn.”
--Dr. Peter Breggin (1)
Despite her widely publicized comments that her team's findings in a 2007 study on SSRIs and birth defects were not “really something to be alarmed about,” Carol Louik, Sc.D., told one newspaper that “We can't lose sight of the fact that there were some associations … and we can't dismiss those." (2) The associations Dr. Luick was referring to? Rates of birth defects among the children of mothers taking SSRIs during pregnancy.
In the 2007 study, First-Trimester Use of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors, researchers reported that “on the basis of the magnitude of the risk estimate and the number of exposed subjects, certain associations warrant further exploration: sertraline in relation to anal atresia and limb-reduction defects, and paroxetine in relation to neural-tube defects and clubfoot.” (3)
Anal atresia is the absence or blockage of the anus, and there are surgeries to treat it. What are limb-reduction defects, and is there anything doctors can do to treat it? Weitz & Luxenberg has information that can help you answer your questions about Zoloft and limb reduction defects. If you have legal questions about your experience with Zoloft and congenital problems such as heart defects and limb reduction defects, please contact us.
What are limb reduction defects?
The CDC says that “upper and lower limb reduction defects occur when a part of or the entire arm (upper limb) or leg (lower limb) of a fetus fails to form completely during pregnancy. The defect is referred to as a limb reduction because a limb is reduced from its normal size or is missing.” (4)
Potential difficulties and problems resulting from limb reduction defects, depending on the location and severity of the defects, include:
- Difficulties developing motor skills
- Difficulty taking care of daily hygiene needs without assistance
- Limitations in terms of movement and activity (limitations depend on the location and extent of limb reduction defects)
- Social anxiety due to others' reaction to the child's appearance (4)
What are the available treatments for limb reduction defects?
The overall goal doctors have for treatment of limb reduction defects is “to provide the child with a limb that has proper function and appearance,” according to the CDC. (4) Treatment varies for each child, with regard to what their limb reduction defects are and what the child and parent want.
Potential treatments include:
- Prosthetics (artificial limbs)
- Orthotics (splints or braces)
- Physical or occupational therapy
Statistics about Zoloft, limb reduction defects, depression and pregnant women
- Reproductive-age women have the highest prevalence of major depressive disorders; approximately 1 in 10 women will have major or minor depression sometime during pregnancy and the postpartum period. (5)
- Antidepressant use during pregnancy jumped from 5.7% in 1999 to 13.4% in 2003. The data was based on Medicaid patients and could be higher for the general population. (1)
- Birth defects are responsible for about 20% of all infant deaths in the United States. (6)
- Zoloft is classified as Pregnancy Class C Category drug by the FDA. (7) A Category C classification is for drugs that have been shown to harm fetuses in animal studies but have not been adequately studied in humans. (5)
If your child has been harmed by Zoloft limb reduction defects, you have legal options
If you believe that your child has been affected by in utero exposure to Zoloft or other SSRIs and you want to learn more about your options for pursuing legal compensation, call Weitz & Luxenberg at 1-800-476-6070, or fill out a form on this site for your free legal consultation.
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