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Zoloft Birth Defects: Spina Bifida

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 No Comments

Use of the prescription antidepressant Zoloft while pregnant has been linked to a number of birth defects, including neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Spina bifida is Latin for “split spine.” The birth defect is caused by the incomplete closing of the embryonic neural tube, which is the embryo’s precursor to the central nervous system. In newborns afflicted with the condition, some vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain un-fused and open. If the opening is large enough, a portion of the spinal cord can protrude through the bones. There may or may not be a fluid-filled sac surrounding the spinal cord. The most common locations of spina bifida malformations are the lumbar and sacral areas.

Spina bifida can be surgically closed after birth, however this does not restore normal function to the affected part of the spinal cord. There is no known cure for nerve damage due to spina bifida. During the operation, the spinal cord and its nerve roots are put back inside the spine. A shunt may be surgically installed to provide a continuous drain for the cerebrospinal fluid. Intrauterine surgery for spinal bifida has been performed. The safety and efficacy of this procedure is currently being investigated.

If you used Zoloft during pregnancy and your child suffered a birth defect, such as spina bifida, please contact the Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuit Lawyers of Williams Kherkher by calling 800-641-9810.


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