The use of the SSRI antidepressant drug called Zoloft during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk for a child to be born with a cleft lip and cleft palate. If you or a woman you love took Zoloft during pregnancy, and the child was born with a cleft lip or cleft palate, it is important to educate yourself on the link between the two.
Below is some information regarding the birth defect and Zoloft drug information. Additionally, you can always feel free to contact our office to set up an appointment with a personal injury attorney.
What is a Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate?
Symptoms of cleft lip and cleft palate can range from virtually unnoticeable to dramatically large. It can affect one or both of the lips, potentially complicating eating, speaking, and even breathing. Cleft palates can also cause problems in normal jaw and teeth growth.
What do I do if my child was born with a Cleft Palate?
Clefts are typically very treatable. When a child is born with a cleft palate or cleft lip, they are often assigned a “cleft team” consisting of doctors, speech therapists, and specialists who will assist in the treatment process.
While surgery is required, it may be performed as early as 10 to 12 weeks after birth. After surgery, follow up speech and developmental therapy may be necessary.
The long-term prognosis is good, presuming the child receives prompt treatment. Checkups are required to ensure that the child’s jaw and teeth are developing normally.
The initial surgery may leave a scar above the baby’s mouth into adulthood, however cosmetic surgery can reduce the appearance of scarring substantially.
Zoloft During Pregnancy
The FDA categorizes Zoloft as a Pregnancy Category C, which means that it has the potential to injure an unborn child if taken during pregnancy. It was alleged that drug company, Pfizer failed to warn of the potential birth defects linked to Zoloft use during pregnancy.
Cleft Lip and Palate are not the only birth defects associated with the dangerous drug. Zoloft has been also linked to heart defects, anencephaly, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), respiratory distress, and autism.
Consider these dangerous repercussions before taking Zoloft or any SSRI while pregnant. If you took Zoloft while pregnant, and your child was born with a cleft lip or palate, contact a St. Louis birth injury attorney at our office today.