Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, also known as SSRIs, work by correcting chemical imbalances in the brain.
Expecting mothers who took certain types of these SSRIs have been shown to have a greater likelihood of delivering a baby with birth defects – most of which are severe.
SSRIs are used to treat serious, continuing depression that interferes with a person’s ability to function. Like other antidepressant drugs, they help reduce the extreme sadness, hopelessness, and lack of interest in life that are typical in people with depression.
SSRI medications include:
- Zoloft (sertraline)
- Prozac (fluoxetine)
- Paxil (paroxetine)
- Lexapro (escitalopram)
In some instances, SSRIs have been shown to increase the chance of a certain defect by 600 percent.
Studies have indicated that the use of SSRI antidepressants, including Zoloft, during pregnancy can cause a significantly increased likelihood of severe birth defects.
Some of these birth defects include:
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Anal Atresia
- Heart birth defects
- Club foot
- Spina bifida
- Brain damage
- Improperly developed limb
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