The most recent study was published in the journal Neurology and suggests that use of SSRIs is associated with an increased risk of brain hemorrhage (brain bleeding). Although the overall risk is still low, it does appear to be raised when patients take one of the drugs in the SSRI class. This is a side effect that directly affects the patient taking the medication and not an infant exposed to the medication prior to birth.
Researchers found that use of an SSRI was associated with a 40 to 50 percent increased risk of brain bleed. This does not prove that SSRIs cause brain bleeds, simply that their use is associated with an increased risk. The conditions that SSRIs are prescribed to treat could be the cause of the increase incidences of brain bleeds.
Meanwhile, a study from the University of British Columbia suggests that babies exposed to SSRIs, including Zoloft, prior to birth, develop language early. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (10/8/12) and found babies exposed to SSRIs speak three months earlier than babies not exposed to the antidepressants.
READ MORE ZOLOFT BIRTH DEFECTS LEGAL NEWS
Lawsuits have been filed against some SSRI makers, alleging the antidepressants were responsible for birth defects and further alleging the drug makers failed to adequately warn patients and medical professionals about those risks. In 2010, GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Paxil, reportedly settled some 800 Paxil birth defects lawsuits for around $1 billion.