Zoloft Side Effects and Rising Autism Rates

Jeremy Thurman on September 20, 2011


Approximately 1 in 110 children in the United States have an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is an increase of about 17% since the late 1990s, and coincides with an increase in antidepressant use in women of childbearing age. A recent study found a direct correlation between Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), a type of antidepressant, and development of ASDs. A lot of focus has been put on a common SSRI, Paxil, but it’s important to remember that there is just as much risk of Zoloft side effects, as well as issues with other drugs in the same category.

SSRIs are sold under several brand names. Paxil and Zoloft are simply two of the most popular. It’s important for women to be aware of the potential side effects of SSRIs if they become, or plan to become pregnant as these drugs have been shown to cause devastating birth defects, including ASDs.

Other brand names in the SSRI category include, but are not limited to:

  • Celexa
  • Lexapro
  • Luvox
  • Prozac
  • Sarafem

If you’re currently taking an SSRI and become pregnant, don’t stop taking your medication without speaking to your doctor. It can be detrimental to your mental state to abruptly cease antidepressant use. You may also suffer physical withdrawal symptoms. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe an alternative medication that doesn’t carry the same risks as SSRIs. The key is to openly communicate with all the physicians who treat you—your primary care doctor, your psychiatrist, and your obstetrician. Keeping them informed, and following their advice, will help you to enjoy a safe and successful pregnancy while reducing the risk of your baby suffering a birth injury.

Sadly, it’s too late for many women who were not aware of these risks while they were pregnant and taking SSRIs. Many of the children born to those women have developed ASDs, and now require special care and inclusion in special education programs. This kind of care and education can be quite expensive, not to mention the stress the child’s family suffers in trying to provide the best care possible for the child. It’s frustrating for any parent to not be able to communicate with their child, or not be able to provide what the child needs because the ASD prevents the child from adequately expressing himself.

These parents have recourse. Oklahoma Paxil lawsuits, which include injuries caused by other SSRIs as well, are currently underway. If your child suffered a birth defect because you took SSRIs during pregnancy, we can help you. The pharmaceutical companies will never be able to reverse the damage your child has suffered, but you may be compensated for medical bills and other expenses that can be a drain on any family’s resources. Contact us today.


Jeremy Thurman

Jeremy Thurman is an attorney at McIntyre Law who focuses primarily on semi-truck accident and catastrophic injury cases. He is known as a meticulous attorney whose work ethic and small town values translate into excellent results for his clients. Read more about Jeremy Thurman.


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