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Zoloft Linked to Language Development Problems

New studies are indicating that side effects related to the antidepressant Zoloft could manifest in children as problems in language development. The study was published online yb the Proceedings the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America on October 8. It explored language development in infants whose mothers had taken SSRI antidepressants, including Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil, and Prozac while they were pregnant with their children.

Zoloft birth defects

The use of antidepressants during pregnancy had already been linked to serious conditions prior to the study, and heart defects and persistent pulmonary hypertension have both been linked to the use of SSRI drugs during pregnancy.

The new study, which was headlined by Janet Werker of the University of Columbia and Takao Hensch of Harvard, found that infants exposed to SSRIs while in the womb exhibit problems with language development during their first year of life. The study took into account three groups of women and babies; the control group was a group of women who experienced little or no prenatal depression and who didn’t take antidepressants during pregnancy. The second group was of women who experienced depression while they were pregnant, but did not take medication for it. The third group included women who experienced prenatal depression and took SSRIs, including Zoloft, in order to treat it.

The study tested infant language development at various times during the child’s first year, and found that infants whose mothers had taken SSRI drugs had problematic results as compared to the other infants. Babies whose mothers took SSRI drugs could not discriminate language at either six or ten months, whereas in the control group, babies responded as expected to nonnative speech and visual language tasks.

Concerns over Zoloft side effects

The study increases our knowledge of potential birth defects from Zoloft. Many parents of children who have experienced such birth defects have chosen to join Zoloft litigation in an effort to seek compensation.

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