Effects of Zoloft on Fetal Growth
Easier said than done, but if you can find a way to combat depression that doesn't involve Zoloft, especially during your third trimester, then those risks to your child are dramatically reduced. Certain birth defect risks, such as pulmonary hypertension, have been reported to increase 600% when mothers took Zoloft in their last trimester.
Several online publications came out this week (Chicago Tribune, Fox News, Times.com, etc.) discussing a recent study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. The study was designed to "Ö examine the effects of maternal SSRI [i.e. Zoloft] use during pregnancy on fetal growth and birth outcomes."
They ultimately concluded that further research is needed but did suggest that both antidepressants (specifically SSRIs) and untreated depression can negatively affect unborn children. So as a depressed mother, and if you were to believe this study, do you take antidepressants knowing that it can harm your child? Or remain depressed knowing that your depression can harm your child?
Of course there is no definitive answer to these questions and should be discussed with your physician but consider the following: there is new evidence to suggest that in cases of mild depression, taking Zoloft or other antidepressants does not make a significant improvement over taking placebos. In cases of mild depression it would be ideal to find ways to counter depression that do not involve the use of brain altering chemicals.
Easier said than done, but if you can find a way to combat depression that doesn't involve Zoloft, especially during your third trimester, then those risks to your child are dramatically reduced. Certain birth defect risks, such as pulmonary hypertension, have been reported to increase 600% when mothers took Zoloft in their last trimester. Other birth injuries that have been linked to Zoloft include a reduction in cognitive abilities, cleft palate, and heart defects such as increased rate of breathing and rapid heart rate.
Itís worth mentioning that St. Johnís wort is NOT a safe alternative to antidepressants during pregnancy but you may wish to research its effectiveness outside of pregnancy.
Here are some actionable ideas to help you through your last three months of pregnancy without Zoloft. Again, only you and your physician can decide if stopping or reducing any current medications is safe and these should be considered by those with mild cases of depression only.
* Analyze the foods you eat. Junk food, often high in sugar, can provide a temporary boost to serotonin (similar to the effects of an antidepressant). But when the effect wears off, it can lead to a serotonin crash, similar to the effects of depression.
* Exercise and get plenty of sunlight. Both of these can dramatically enhance mood. Speak to your doctor about what kinds of exercise are healthy and encouraged while pregnant.
* Get plenty of sleep. Inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to feelings of depression.
* Enhance/maintain a support network with friends and family. Both outlets can greatly improve your mood.
None of these will be replacements for severe depression, in which case your doctor may find that the benefits outweigh the potential risks to your unborn child. If you currently have a child that was born with any birth defect and Zoloft may have been responsible, seek the advice of a knowledgeable professional. Compensation is often available that can significantly reduce the burden of any past, current, or future medical expenses that you may have.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Zoloft Lawyers at McEwen Law
Our Zoloft Birth Injury lawyers have an extraordinary record of recovering compensation for victims of pharmaceutical negligence. If your child was born with any birth defects or injuries as a result of Zoloft, we can help you immediately.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.