A new study finds that an increased risk of brain bleeding may be added to the list of Zoloft side effects. The study, published in the Neurology journal, found that antidepressant users were 40 to 50 percent more likely to experience bleeding in or around the brain. Antidepressants that put users at risk are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including commonly used drugs such as Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil.

Researchers analyzed data from 16 past studies involving over 500,000 patients. Although the overall risk for an individual is relatively small (one in 10,000 for patients taking SSRIs over a year), there are reasons to believe that the SSRIs are at the root of the increased risk of brain bleeding. Lead researcher Dr. Daniel G. Hackam, an associate professor of medicine at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada, noted that the hemorrhage risk were greatest in the first few months after patients started taking an SSRI.

SSRIs can also make it harder for blood cells (platelets) to clump together and form clots. In the first few weeks after a patient start taking an SSRI, there can be a big drop in a patient’s platelet function.

Dr. Hackam advises patients already at increased risk for brain hemorrhage to be especially cautious, which includes patients who had prior brain bleeding, or are on medications that reduce blood clotting.

Zoloft has previously been linked to numerous other Zoloft side effects, including suicide, withdrawals, and birth defects. The FDA has added a Zoloft birth defect warning advising pregnant women that taking Zoloft after the 20th week of pregnancy puts them at a sixth fold increased risk of giving birth to a baby with PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn). The FDA has also ordered Pfizer, the manufacturer of the drug, to include black box warning label about children suicide—children who use Zoloft are twice as likely to commit suicide as compared to children who took a placebo drug.

If you or a loved one suffered from Zoloft side effects after taking the drug, you may consider filing a Zoloft lawsuit to seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Learn more by calling a Zoloft lawyer at (877) 779-1414.

Published October 25, 2012 by