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Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer Explains Effects of Zoloft and Paxil

Michael Becker

Anti-depressants are used by a large population of the U.S to control the symptoms of both depression and anxiety; in fact, 1 study found that approximately 1 in 20 women reported taking anti-depressants 3 months before conceiving or throughout their pregnancy between 1998 and 2005.

While the studies on anti-depressant use during pregnancy are inconclusive, a birth injury lawyer may be able to help you seek legal recourse if your use of medications, such as Zoloft and Paxil, resulted in a birth injury to your child.

Dealing with a newborn’s injuries is difficult for any parent. Fortunately, a Cleveland birth injury lawyer can help you file a claim against the responsible party if your Zoloft or Paxil prescription is to blame for your child’s injuries. If your claim is successful, you may be compensated for your medical bills as well as pain and suffering.

Effects of Zoloft and Paxil during Pregnancy

Reports on anti-depressant usage during pregnancy are mixed. While some doctors may advise pregnant women to discontinue the use of Zoloft and Paxil, others weigh the impact that depression can have on a pregnant woman.

Some studies have shown that expectant mothers with depression are less likely to take care of themselves during pregnancy, for example, they may:

  • skip appointments with their OB/GYNs;
  • neglect to eat a healthy diets; and
  • exhibit risky behaviors.

Unfortunately, Zoloft and Paxil use during pregnancy carries some risk. The most common birth injury associated with anti-depressants is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), which causes abnormal blood flow in the lungs and heart. Approximately 1-2 out of every 1000 babies born in the United States develop PPHN.

The symptoms of PPHN may include:

  • cardiac defects;
  • pulmonary damage;
  • brain and spinal cord damage;
  • deformed skull;
  • anal atresia; and
  • club feet.

In addition, the newborn may also develop holes in the heart wall. While some cases may be relatively minor and can heal on their own, other cases are more life-threatening and may require emergency surgery.

The use of Zoloft or Paxil during pregnancy can result in other forms of birth injury, such as miscarriage, preterm birth, and low birth weight.

In some cases, newborns who have been exposed to Zoloft or Paxil while in the womb can exhibit withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • breathing problems;
  • feeding difficulties;
  • irritability
  • jitteriness; and
  • hypoglycemia.

Filing a Birth Injury Claim

When Zoloft or Paxil results in a birth injury, there are 2 types of claims you may be able to file: product liability and medical malpractice. With a product liability case, the claim is filed against the drug manufacturer.

In order to win your case, your Cleveland birth injury lawyer must help you prove that:

  • your child sustained a birth injury;
  • the side effects of the medication were unreasonably dangerous;
  • the manufacturer did not provide adequate warnings; and
  • the medication was the cause of the birth injury.

With a medical malpractice case, you will file a claim against the doctor who prescribed the medication or advised you to continue taking Zoloft or Paxil during your pregnancy. If you can prove that the doctor did not live up to the standard of care in your community, you may win your case.

Contact a Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer

If your child has sustained a birth injury related to Zoloft or Paxil, an experienced Cleveland birth injury lawyer can help you recover damages for both your financial and emotional losses. At the Becker Law Firm, we are dedicated to helping parents and children who have been affected by a birth injury. Please contact our law office at (440) 252-4399 today to discuss your case.