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2009 – Zoloft use during pregnancy raises risk for septal heart defects 3-fold

Posted in SSRI Birth Defects, Zoloft Birth Defects

The objective of a study done titled “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and congenital malformations: population based cohort study” by  LH. Pedersen from the Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, was to take a closer look between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors taken during pregnancy and their ability to cause major congenital malformations.  The study was a population based cohort study that involved 493,113 children born in Denmark from 1996 to 2003.  The major malformations were categorized according to the European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies with a different diagnostic grouping for heart defects and information on mothers and newborns were collected from nationwide registers on medical redemptions, delivery, and hospital diagnosis.

Author  LH. Pedersen states “Redemptions for SSRIs were not associated with major malformations overall but were associated with septal heart defects (odds ratio 1.99, 95% confidence interval 1.13 to 3.53). For individual SSRIs, the odds ratio for septal heart defects was 3.25 (1.21 to 8.75) for sertraline, 2.52 (1.04 to 6.10) for citalopram, and 1.34 (0.33 to 5.41) for fluoxetine.” That is to say that overall, risk for septal heart defects was increased more than 3-fold if a mother used Zoloft during pregnancy compared to controls.  Celexa use was shown to raise the risk for septal heart defects by a factor of 2.52,  and Prozac use raised the risk of having offspring with septal heart defects by 34%.

The use of more than one type of SSRI was associated with septal heart defects as well.  Overall, the absolute increase in the prevalence of malformations was low with individual drugs, the prevalence of septal heart defects was .5 percent among unexposed children and .9 percent for children whose mothers were prescribed an SSRI, but prevalence of malformations was found to be 2.1 percent among children whose mothers were prescribed more than one type of SSRI.

Pedersen concludes, stating simply “There is an increased prevalence of septal heart defects among children whose mothers were prescribed an SSRI in early pregnancy, particularly sertraline and citalopram. The largest association was found for children of women who redeemed prescriptions for more than one type of SSRI.”

This and other pieces of academic research like it may be used in a Zoloft septal heart defect lawsuit, Celexa septal heart defect lawsuit, or a Prozac septal heart defect lawsuit to demonstrate to a court that the manufacturers of these drugs knew, or should have known, the risk for septal heart defects associated with their products.  Due to the fact that the manufacturers of these drugs have failed time and again to warn women of the risk for birth defects associated with SSRI use, SSRI birth defect lawsuits have been filed all over the world.

For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Zoloft® birth defects lawyers, Celexa® birth defects lawyers, Prozac® birth defects lawyers, and SSRI birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.

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Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.