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Zoloft is used to treat mental depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). The generic name for this drug is sertraline.
Sertraline belongs to a group of medicines known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). There is a chemical in the brain called serotonin. Zoloft and others SSRIs help increase the activity in the brain. This seems to have a positive effect on how the brain functions.
Using Zoloft Can Be Life-Threatening
However, in July of 2006, two serious complications were identified by the Food and Drug Administration in a warning. Along with other SSRIs, Zoloft was shown to increase the risk of Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension.
It also was linked to a life-threatening syndrome. Serotonin Syndrome could occur if SSRIs or SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) were taken along with Triptanmedications. Triptans are commonly used to alleviate headaches.
Zoloft and Pregnancy
Taking Zoloft, along with other SSRIs, should be considered very carefully if you are pregnant. The FDA believes that these drugs may cause birth defects in the hearts of newborns. Other effects on newborns are not well documented, but may exist.
More Complications from Zoloft
Zoloft can cause the following life-threatening complications:
- Damage in newborn babies due to an increased risk of Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension, which may have long-term results.
- Combined usage of of SSRIs or SNRIs with Triptan medications can result in Serotonin Syndrome (confusion, diarrhea, fever, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, talking and acting with excitement you cannot control, trembling or shaking, or twitching).
- Deepening depression
- Suicidal thoughts and actions
- Youth more likely to attempt suicide
Some complications only affect a small number of individuals, but they are very serious:
- Decreasing vision or blindness
- Skin peels, loosens or forms blisters — sometimes with fluid in them.
- Epileptic seizures
- High blood pressure
- Feelings of depression
There are also relatively rare complications that may occur:
- Blood cell production is unusual or decreases
- Heart rate slows
- Blood pressure drops
- Penile erection is painful or prolonged
- Pregnant women suffer late-term seizure or coma
- Sun sensitivity
Anyone who has taken Zoloft and experienced any of these complications could consult their doctor and consider reaching out to an attorney who can help get them compensated for their injuries.
How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help
As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.