Zoloft Studies 1996-2010: Pregnancy Effects and Birth Defects


Chambers, Christina (1996), “Birth Outcomes in Pregnant Women Taking Fluoxentine”. New England Journal of Medicine 335: 1010-15.

Mothers exposed to SSRI’s late in their pregnancy showed significantly higher rates of premature birth, poor neonatal adaptation, significantly lower mean birth weight and length, and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN).


Simon, Gregory (2002), “Outcome of Prenatal Antidepressant Exposure”. American Journal of Psychiatry 159: 2055-2061; and Oberlander, Tim (2006), “Neonatal Outcomes After Prenatal Exposure to Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Antidepressants and Maternal Depression using Population – Based Linked Health Data”. Archives of General Psychiatry 63: 898-906.

Use of SSRI antidepressants, including Zoloft, during pregnancy caused lower gestational age and birth weight, longer hospital stays and significantly lower APGAR scores than in non-exposed infants in control groups.


Chambers, Christina (2006), “Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors and Risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn”. New Eng. J. Med. 354 (6): 579-587.

SSRI use, including Zoloft, after the 20th week of pregnancy was significantly associated with PPHN.


Alwan, Sara (2007), “Use of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects”. New Eng. J. Med. 356 (26): 2684-2692.

Early exposure to SSRIs, including Zoloft, while pregnant showed significant association with anencephaly (an absence of a large part of the brain or skull), craniosynostosis (closed or fused bones on infant’s skull), and omphalocele (an abdominal wall defect in which the intestines and liver remain outside the abdomen in a sac because of a defect in the development of the muscles in the abdominal wall).

Luick, Caroi (2007), “First-Trimester Use of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors and the Risk of Birth Defects”. New Eng. J. Med. 356 (26): 2675-2683.

Use of SSRI antidepressant medications, including Zoloft, during pregnancy doubled the risk of babies being born with septal heart defects (ASD and VSD).


Pederson, Lars (2009), “Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and Congenital Malformation: Population Based Cohort Study”. British Medical Journal 339: b3569.

These same heart defect results were further confirmed in 2009 with the publishing of the Pederson Study. This study was designed to evaluate the association between SSRI use during the first trimester of pregnancy and the occurrence of major malformations. The study looked at 496,881 births reported in the Danish nationwide birth registry. The study found that the use of Zoloft and Celexa were associated with an increased prevalence of septal heart defects, and the use of more than one type of SSRI during the first trimester was associated with a fourfold increase in the prevalence of septal heart defects.


Kornum, Jete (2010), “Use of Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors during Early Pregnancy and Risk of Congenital Malformation; Updated Analysis”. Clinical Epidemiology 2: 29-36.

Further studies confirmed earlier findings. The Kornum Study looked at 216,042 women, 2062 of whom had taken a SSRI during pregnancy. The conclusions were that all SSRI’ s (except Paroxetine) were associated with increased risk of heart defects. Particularly, Zoloft use was associated with a threefold increased risk of cardiac malformation. Zoloft use also was associated with a higher incidence of septal defects (ASD and VSD).

If you or a loved one gave birth to a child with birth defects after taking Zoloft during pregnancy, you may be entitled to recover substantial financial compensation. Time limits apply to filing a claim. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation with a top Zoloft lawsuit attorney. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions.