Searching the phrase “sertraline malformation” in PubMed, an online medical literature database curated by the US National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, this morning I came across an article titled “Serotonin as a regulator of craniofacial morphogenesis: site specific malformations following exposure to serotonin uptake inhibitors.” by D.L. Shuey et al., appearing in the October, 1992 edition of Teratology. To be clear, “sertraline” is the chemical name for the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Zoloft®.
Studying mice, the team found that “Exposure of mouse embryos in whole embryo culture to sertraline, at a concentration (10 microM) which produced no evidence of general embryotoxicity, caused craniofacial malformations consistent with direct action at 5-HT uptake sites. Two other 5-HT uptake inhibitors, fluoxetine and amitriptyline, produced similar defects.”
Many other studies published in recent decades have also linked prenatal SSRI exposure to craniofacial malformations such as cleft lip and cleft palate. The researchers concluded “it appears that inhibition of 5-HT uptake into craniofacial epithelia may produce developmental defects by interference with serotonergic regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal interactions important for normal craniofacial morphogenesis.”
Because so many women have used SSRIs unaware of the risks associated with gestational exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a number of SSRI lawsuits have been filed.
If you or a loved one used SSRIs and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation or who had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of SSRI birth defect lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
(855) 452 – 5529