Zoloft Lawsuit Birth Defects
Zoloft is in a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). If your child suffers from a birth defect caused by using this drug during pregnancy, please contact us for the latest Zoloft lawsuit birth defects news. They are commonly prescribed to treat depression and other emotional disorders; they work by adjusting the level of serotonin in the brain. Unfortunately, studies have revealed that using this class of medications during pregnancy can result a number of congenital health problems in newborns. Potential Zoloft birth defects include abdominal herniations, heart problems, skull deformities, and lung disorders, among many other abnormalities.
A fairly common birth defect in male babies is a condition called hypospadias (it also occurs in female babies, but is very rare). Studies show there is a link between this condition and prenatal use of SSRIs. These drugs can affect fetal development. If you used Zoloft while you were pregnant, and your baby was born with hypospadias (described below), you may be able to file a Zoloft lawsuit claim.
Explanation Of Hypospadias And Its Various Forms
Hypospadias is an abnormal placement of the urethral orifice (or, urinary meatus); it displays on the underside of the penis. The urethra may open near the tip of the penis or anywhere along the underside extending to the baby’s scrotum. This should not be confused with another penile deformity known as epispadias. This is a birth defect in which the urethra opens somewhere along the top of the penis. Though both conditions appear similar, treatment options vary between them.
There are three distinct classes of hypospadias: first degree, second degree, and third degree. A first degree hypospadic urethra opens on the underside of the glans penis. This form of the condition represents between 50 and 75 percent of known cases. Second degree hypospadias occurs when the urinary meatus opens on the underside of the penile shaft. Between 20 and 30 percent of cases are second degree. The remaining cases are considered third degree. The urethral orifice can be found near the base of the shaft near, or on, the scrotum.
Long-Term Side Effects Of The Condition
The side effects of this disorder are rarely serious. The baby’s penis may have a downward curvature (a condition known as chordee); the urinary spray may be abnormal; and in some cases, there may be extra foreskin present covering the top of the glans.
If the hypospadic urethra is not repaired, the baby may be forced to cope with an abnormal urinary spray as an adult. Depending on the spray pattern, it may become necessary to sit while urinating. In some cases, the penis develops a curvature that is extensive enough to prevent normal sexual function. Also, untreated second and third degree hypospadias have been associated with issues related to fertility.
Is Surgical Repair Necessary For This Zoloft Birth Defect?
When the urethral opening is located on the underside of the glans (i.e first degree), surgery may be unnecessary. The birth defect is mostly cosmetic. Any problems, both after birth and later in life, will be minimal. For this reason, pediatric urologists often recommend avoiding surgery.
For most cases of second and third degree hypospadias, surgery is warranted to reposition the urethral orifice. The procedure is typically done during the baby’s first year of life, when the penis’s growth is minimal. There are three goals depending on the birth defect’s presentation. The surgeon will relocate the urinary meatus to the tip of the glans, remove any extra foreskin, and straighten the penile curvature.
Surgical repair can usually be completed within two hours on an out-patient basis. In severe cases, multiple procedures may be necessary. While complications are always possible, and may include scarring and fistulas, they are rare.
Of the many Zoloft birth defects that are possible, hypospadias is among the least serious. Compared to numerous heart defects, cranial disorders, and persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), a hypospadic urethra poses little cause for concern. There is no risk to the baby’s life. That said, the penile deformity still presents long-term side effects without treatment.
If you used this antidepressant during pregnancy, and your baby was born with one or more Zoloft birth defects, you may have the right to file a claim for compensation. Contact an experienced Zoloft lawsuit 2011 attorney to discuss your legal options.