Zoloft Lawsuit | Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits
Zoloft Lawsuit | Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits | Zoloft Side-Effects | Zoloft Side-Effects Lawsuits | Zoloft Birth Defects | Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits | Sertraline SSRI
Zoloft is one of the most popular drugs on the market that treats depression and other mood disorders. Just as the prescription medication has its benefits, the blockbuster drug manufactured by Pfizer Inc. is known to cause serious birth defects when women take the antidepressant during pregnancy. If you took the prescription medication Zoloft and your child suffered a serious or fatal birth defect, you may be entitled to compensation.
Dr. François Blaudeau, leader of the Southern Institute for Medical and Legal Affairs, is both an attorney and practicing physician. His first-hand knowledge of medication has made the Institute an aggressive and effective advocate for those who were harmed by dangerous and defective drugs. To learn more about filing a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, please call Dr. Blaudeau as soon as possible for a free, no-obligation case review.
Zoloft (sertraline chloride) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. SSRIs control the brain’s level of serotonin, a natural chemical that regulates such functions as mood, sleep, and appetite. Zoloft is used by adults to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and social anxiety disorder. It is used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder in children 6-17 years old. Zoloft side-effects include:
- Dry mouth
- Change in appetite or sleep
- Dizziness, light-headed or faint
- Reduced sexual desire
- Weight gain
- Increased sweating
The FDA ordered all SSRI antidepressant medications, including Zoloft, to carry black box warnings that state antidepressant medications may increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, adolescent and young adults especially within the first few months of treatment.
Zoloft Use And Birth Defects
Zoloft has been associated with birth defects in newborns that include:
- Congenital heart defects
- Neural tube defects
- Cleft lip and palate
- Respiratory distress
- Anencephaly (when a portion of the brain and skull does not develop)
The FDA issued a Zoloft birth defect warning in July 2006 after the agency reviewed a study published in the February 2006 issue in the New England Journal of Medicine that assessed the risk of newborns developing persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), which affects a newborn’s lungs, following SSRI exposure during pregnancy. Researchers found women who took SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy (five months) were six times more likely to have babies born with PPHN, than infants born to women who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.
Another study published in the British Medical Journal in September 2009 held similar conclusions to the research reviewed by the FDA. The BMJ study found that antidepressants, like Zoloft, increase the risk of heart defects during the first three months of pregnancy.
The FDA recommends that doctors carefully weigh the potential risks of SSRIs and talk with their patients about the risks prior to prescribing SSRI treatment during pregnancy.
Zoloft Birth Defects Lawsuits
Women who took Zoloft during pregnancy and reported serious birth defects in their newborns have filed lawsuits against Pfizer claiming the company knew or should have known that taking the antidepressant during pregnancy would cause birth defects. The Zoloft complaints also accuse Pfizer of failing to provide adequate warnings regarding the dangerous risks associated with the medication.
Due to the large number of Zoloft lawsuit filings against Pfizer, a panel of federal judges consolidated the Zoloft complaints in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2012. According to the judicial panel, centralizing the cases in the Pennsylvania federal court will move pretrial proceedings forward in a timely manner and avoid inconsistent rulings and duplication of discovery efforts.
Pfizer is currently defending itself against more than 520 Zoloft birth defects complaints in the Pennsylvania federal court. Additional Zoloft lawsuits have been filed in state courts across the country, including Missouri and Pennsylvania. In November 2014, Pfizer asked U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who is managing the Zoloft multidistrict litigation in Pennsylvania, to dismiss all complaints that were filed on behalf of children who contend they were injured by the antidepressant when they were exposed to Zoloft during pregnancy. In January 2015, Judge Cynthia Rufe denied Pfizer’s motion and continued with the process of preparing cases trial.
Legal Help For Families And Victims Of Zoloft Birth Defects
Throughout his career, Dr. Blaudeau has worked hard to develop a strong reputation in healthcare litigation. His first-hand knowledge of medicine has made the Southern Institute for Medical and Legal Affairs an aggressive and effective advocate for those who were harmed due to dangerous and defective drugs. If your newborn suffered birth injuries as a result of Zoloft use during pregnancy, please contact the Southern Institute for Medical and Legal Affairs today to learn more about your legal rights. You can arrange for a free, no obligation Zoloft birth defects lawsuit review by filling out our online form, or by calling the office directly at 205-547-5525.