SSRI Drugs Paxil & Zoloft Birth Defect Studies Overview

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Study after study has linked SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant drugs Paxil and Zoloft to birth defects. Bryan Aylstock, a Florida Paxil and Zoloft birth defect attorney, provided a quick overview of those studies and how they might affect birth injury litigation:

  • New England Journal of Medicine studies. Two studies have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine; one by a lead author by the name of Lerwick and another by a lead author by the name of Alwan. Both found a statistically significant increased risk of various birth defects.
  • Canadian & Swedish studies. There have been studies from Canada and Sweden which looked at the pregnancy registries of women [who took SSRI drugs while pregnant]. There is a consistency in results as far as an increased risk for various birth defects and persistent pulmonary hypertension.
  • Animal experiment studies. There have been animal experiments on how these [SSRI] agents affect a developing embryo. They’ve been [published] in very respected journals and have determined that, in fact, not only do both these drugs pass through the placental barrier, they have direct affects on the developing neural crest and brachial arch cells that migrate in a very early developing embryo to form all of these major organ systems in babies.When neural crest cells don’t migrate properly or they’re interfered with by an agent such as Paxil or Zoloft, many, many unforeseen things can happen. That’s been born out both in the epidemiology and the laboratory studies that have been done so far.

Drug companies must be held accountable

Aylstock says that Paxil and Zoloft birth defects can be severe and that injured victims have every right to be compensated – especially when study after study has shown a link between SSRI drugs and birth defects, yet drug manufacturers have done nothing in response. He explained:

Drug companies need to be held accountable for their actions and inactions; they need to be told that this is not appropriate conduct. They need to compensate the victim, especially when they’re children, so that they can have a normal life or one that is as normal as possible.

The foregoing article has been prepared by an attorney who is a regular contributor to FreeAdvice, and is now undergoing review by the site’s editorial staff.

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