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Zoloft Use By Pregnant Women Connected to Clubfoot

Zoloft (generic name: sertraline), manufactured by Pfizer, has been associated with birth defects in infants born to mothers who took the antidepressant medication. The problem has been more common to women who took the medication in the first trimester of their pregnancy. Many women who have had children with a birth defect after using Zoloft have chosen to file a Zoloft lawsuit to recover compensation.

What is clubfoot?

A congenital abnormality, clubfoot typically causes one or both feet to turn inward and it appears when the child is born or a short time later. Symptoms of clubfoot include the inward turn of the foot, a shorter foot on the affected leg, and calf muscles that are underdeveloped. It may occur in both legs and those symptoms may vary from a slight inward turn to the foot looking as if it’s upside down.

Although clubfoot looks uncomfortable, there is rarely accompanying pain with the condition. If left untreated, however, it can hinder a child’s physical development by making it difficult to walk, causing embarrassment, and arthritis. It can also interfere with muscular development in the calf and lead to painful sores and calluses on the feet.

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Treatments for clubfoot

A French method of treating clubfoot includes taping the foot to help it maintain the correct position. In addition to taping it, exercises are done to achieve the best possible results.

The Ponseti method is another option. In this technique, a cast is placed on the foot in lieu of tape. Every few weeks, the cast is changed and the foot is gently coaxed into the normal position.

If an extreme case of clubfoot is diagnosed, surgery might be required to manipulate the tendons in the ankle to let the foot get back into the proper position. If there is surgery needed, it is usually done early in the life of the infant. Subsequently, a foot brace must be worn for up to a year following the completion of the procedure. These children must also receive regular monitoring until the foot has stopped growing. This is done to ensure normal development of the calf, ankle, and foot.

Other birth defects linked to Zoloft

There are other alleged Zoloft birth defects linked to the medication. In addition to clubfoot, it has been linked with other congenital abnormalities such as cleft lip and palate, and spina bifida. Mothers who took the medication might also run a higher risk of having children with heart defects and gastrointestinal abnormalities.

Clubfoot is a treatable problem, but it can subject the child to extensive medical care with surgery sometimes being necessary. Parents who have a child suffering from clubfoot are faced with costly hospital visits and treatments. Filing a lawsuit against Pfizer is the avenue chosen by many parents to pay for the medical expenses, lost wages and distress that accompany such a diagnosis.