Zoloft may cause birth defects when a woman takes it during pregnancy. If you or a loved one has given birth to a child with a birth defect and the mother took Zoloft during pregnancy, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Zoloft is prescribed for many purposes. Sertraline is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (bothersome thoughts that won’t go away and the need to perform certain actions over and over), panic attacks (sudden, unexpected attacks of extreme fear and worry about these attacks), posttraumatic stress disorder and others. Regardless of the reason of prescription, women who take this drug may experience a greater than average risk of infant child birth defects, including but not limited to heart defects, cleft palate, cleft lip, skeletal deformations and more. If your child experienced such a horrific side effect, please call our team of Zoloft lawyers today for a free case evaluation on how we can help.
Risks Associated With Zoloft
Zoloft Birth Injury Risks Outweigh Potential Benefits
Antidepressant Zoloft has been linked to potentially life-threatening birth defects in babies and a number of side effects, including suicidal tendency, in adults. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor is produced by Pfizer and widely used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress. However, its side effects highlighted by independent researches, Zoloft lawsuits, and post-marketing studies outweigh the drug benefits. Zoloft side effects during pregnancy lead to malformations and lung, heart, cranial, and abdominal defects in newborns. Adults are likely to suffer from liver impairment, sexual dysfunction, neurological disorders, colitis, and withdrawal syndrome due to Zoloft side effects.
Zoloft Side Effect Studies
Pfizer introduced Zoloft in 1991 and the drug became the highest selling SSRI antidepressant in 2007. In the last five years, a number of studies have been published linking the drug to an array of adverse injuries in both babies born to mothers took the drug during pregnancy and adults. Zoloft side effects first came to public notice in 1999 after one of the shooters accused for the Columbine High School massacre was found to be on the drug. A spate of reports, Zoloft side effect complaints, independent studies, and post-marketing surveys, published between 2002 and 2006 forced the FDA to warn consumers about potential injuries associated with the drug.
A May 2012 report in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology claimed that Zoloft antidepressant could cause seizers and birth defects. According to the study carried on by the Tennessee Medicaid, the drug could lead to five-fold increase in the risk of life-threatening health problems in newborns if taken during or after the third trimester of pregnancy.
Another meta-analysis published in the Human Reproduction journal in October 2012 linked Zoloft side effects to pregnancy complications, high risk of miscarriage, and neonatal disorders. A review of more than 100 studies, the report highlighted neurobehavioral abnormalities and imperfections in heart, vertebra, skull, abdominal, and lungs of newly born babies. According to findings by scholars at Ontario Western University published in the Neurology medical journal, Zoloft and similar SSRIs can also cause serious brain hemorrhage.
According to the US National Academy of Science, children born to mothers who take Zoloft during pregnancy are at greater risk of missing developmental milestones. The American College of Cardiology has warned about potential risk of heart attack in adults caused by the antidepressant drug. Autism and congenital heart problems in children could be result of Zoloft side effects during pregnancy, according a Times Magazine report published in July 2011.
Zoloft Birth Defects in Newborn Babies
- Cardiovascular problems and congenital heart defect
- Neural tube defect
- Spina bifida
- Neo behavioral syndrome
- Cranial defect and undeveloped skull
- Autism, pulmonary hypertension, heart valve disorders
- Internal and external oral defects
- Rectum, anus, and abdominal wall malformation
Zoloft Side Effects in Adults
- Serious brain hemorrhage
- Ejaculation difficulties
- Swelling of female sexual organs
- Suicidal behavior
- Atherosclerosis in men
- Neurological disorders, such as dizziness, insomnia, tremor, etc.
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Liver impairment and hepatitis symptoms
- Genitourinary disorders, such as decreased libido and sexual dysfunction
- Endocrine side effects, such as galactorrhea
- Upper respiratory tract infection
Zoloft Side Effect Lawsuits
More than 400 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits have been filed in various state and federal courts across the United States. The plaintiffs, both parents and children born with birth defects, have sought to fix liability on Pfizer for manufacturing and marketing drugs that can lead to life-threatening side effects and withholding information about its safety concerns. Zoloft litigations focus on breach of consumer trust, negligence, and product liability on the part of the manufacturer. The court of Judge Cynthia M. Rufe of Pennsylvania east district has been selected for the consolidation of all Zoloft lawsuits under the MDL provisions.
Our firm is offering free nationwide case evaluations to families whose children were diagnosed with medical conditions at birth or shortly therafter when the mother ingested Zoloft during pregnancy. Specific birth defects include cardiac malformations (ASD, VSD, Left Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome, coarctation of the aorta, Tricuspid or Pulmonary Atresia, Pulmonary Stenosis, transposition of the great vessels or any other heart defect), neural tube defect, craniosynostosis, cleft lip, cleft palate, skeletal deformations, and club foot.
Our team of attorneys are currently reviewing potential Zoloft® lawsuits involving women who took these drugs during early pregnancy and whose children suffered adverse side effects, including heart defects and cleft lip/palate, among with others.
Manufactured by Pfizer, Inc., Zoloft® is generically known as sertraline hydrochloride and is a drug prescribed to treat major depression in adults, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and social anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder in both adults and children. Zoloft is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug, meaning that it selectively affects serotonin. Serotonin is one of many chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which pass messages between nerve cells, and has been linked in various studiesto an increased risk of birth defects.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially placed SSRI antidepressants, including Zoloft, in its pregnancy Category C. This pregnancy category means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus, but there have not yet been adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. Pregnancy categories measure the teratogenic effects a drug has on a fetus. Teratogenic means that a drug or other substance is capable of interfering with the development of a fetus, so there could be serious risks to the unborn baby of a woman taking Zoloft while pregnant.
Birth defects or conditions that may be associated with the use of Zoloft include:
- Abdominal wall defects (infant omphalocele)
- Anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus)
- Cleft lip and cleft palate
- Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
- Heart (cardiac) defects
- Skull defect (craniosynostosis)
Zoloft was approved by the FDA and introduced into the market in 1991. Prior to 2002, the drug was approved only for use in adults ages 18 and over. In 2002, the FDA approved Zoloft to treat severe obsessive compulsive disorder in children ages six and older.
The FDA issued a Public Health Advisory on Dec. 8, 2005, warning that use of certain antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of birth defects. The advisory was based on U.S. and Swedish studies showing that exposure to certain antidepressants increased the risk of heart defects, including atrial and ventrical septal defects, conditions in which the wall between the right and left sides of the heart is not completely developed.
Citing a study by Christina Chambers of the University of California, San Diego, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Canada issued a strong warning in March 2006 to pregnant women or women who were trying to become pregnant that antidepressant drugs like Zoloft could potentially pose serious risks to unborn or even nursing babies.
A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a “significant association” between Zoloft and septal defects. A septal defect is a congenital defect that affects the structures of the heart. Septal defects can lead to the improper circulation of blood, making the heart work overtime. An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the heart’s two upper chambers. A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Septal defects can be life threatening. According to the study, mothers who take Zoloft during pregnancy may double the risk of having an baby born with septal defects.
In another study published in the March 2010 issue of Pediatrics, researchers found a potential association between exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy and a delay in normal motor development skills at six and 19 months of age. The same researchers, in a 2009 study published by British Medical Journal, found that women who were pregnant and taking certain antidepressants during the first trimester had an increased risk of giving birth to babies having various heart defects.
A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Montreal and published online on May 31, 2010, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that women who take antidepressants like Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy are significantly more likely to suffer a miscarriage than women who do not take antidepressants.
The Archive of General Psychiatry published a report in July of 2011 linking SSRI antidepressants such as Zoloft to a potentially increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in babies born to mothers who took these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Performed by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California, the population-based, case-control study compared a group of 298 children having varying degrees of autism and their mothers to another group of 1,507 randomly selected children and their mothers. Nearly 70 children from each group were exposed to antidepressants in the same class as Zoloft, and the researchers found a possible connection between mothers who took these drugs within a year before delivery and an increased the risk of their babies being born with ASDs. The highest risk was found to be among those whose mothers took these drugs during the first trimester.
For a Free Case Evaluation:
TOLL FREE: 1-800-632-1404
EMAIL: click here
FILL OUT THIS FORM:
NOTE: Our team of attorneys will review potential cases for all fifty states, including Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin and Wyoming.