Popular Prescriptions May Be Connected To Birth Defects

The prescription antidepressant Zoloft and birth control pill Yaz may increase the risk of birth defects in unborn children. Women should talk to their doctors about continuing a Zoloft regimen while pregnant or about potential dangers posed to the fetus if Yaz is inadvertently used in early pregnancy.

A Possible Zoloft-heart Defect Connection?

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the babies of women who took Zoloft in early pregnancy had twice the risk of being born with a heart defect, or 10 in every 10,000 births. Though these numbers are low and the chance of a birth defect is less than one percent, the drug has shown to increase the risk of fetuses acquiring a birth defect.

Though the connection between antidepressants and birth defects is still being studied, some believe that serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may be linked to the development of heart defects early in the pregnancy. Other defects may also occur after using tricyclic antidepressants, including a rare newborn lung condition and limb malformation.

The Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding certain antidepressants, such as Paxil and Parnate, while pregnant due to the potential connections they have to fetal growth issues and heart defects. Women should also be aware that newborns may go through withdrawal if their mothers were on antidepressants during pregnancy.

It is important that expectant mothers talk with their doctors about the risks antidepressants may pose to their babies and weigh them against the risk to the mother if she stops taking the medications during pregnancy.

Could Yaz Cause Birth Defects?

In addition to Zoloft and other antidepressants, there may be a connection between birth defects and the birth control pill Yaz, though the National Institutes of Health claims that using Yaz inadvertently during early pregnancy has not been shown to cause limb reduction or cardiac anomalies.

Despite this, both the drug manufacturer and the National Institutes of Health recommend that women who discover they are pregnant while taking Yaz talk to their doctor right away.

Pregnant women must understand the problems prescription medications may cause for their unborn children. If you suspect a prescription you used during pregnancy caused a birth defect in your baby, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney.

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