Zoloft Lawsuits - Consumer Justice Foundation

Zoloft Lawsuits

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Pregnant women who take the SSRI antidepressant Zoloft may have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with serious birth defects, including cleft lip, cleft palate and heart malformations.

Zoloft Lawsuit

Antidepressant medications have rapidly become some of the most commonly prescribed drugs on the market in the United States, and although they were initially designed to treat the symptoms of depression, the FDA has approved many antidepressants for the treatment of additional psychiatric disorders, and some are even used for off-label purposes. Since Zoloft was first approved by the FDA in the early 1990s, it has quickly climbed to the top of the list of antidepressant drugs, and in 2007, Zoloft was the most frequently prescribed antidepressant on the U.S. market, with 29.7 million prescriptions filled. However, a growing body of research has linked Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressant drugs to an increased risk of congenital malformations among babies exposed to the medications in utero. If you believe your child has been harmed by side effects of Zoloft, contact a reputable Zoloft attorney today to discuss the possibility of filing a birth defect claim against Pfizer.

Zoloft Alternatives for Depression During Pregnancy

Zoloft and similar SSRI antidepressant drugs have been used to control depression and other psychiatric disorders since the early 1980s, and today, they are the most prescribed class of antidepressant on the market in the United States. SSRIs are popular largely because they are associated with fewer side effects than other types of antidepressants. However, a number of studies have examined the potential connection between Zoloft use in pregnancy and an increased risk of devastating birth defects in babies. Fortunately, there are alternative treatments available for depression and certain behavior disorders among pregnant women and women of childbearing age, including the following natural options:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Meditation
  • Chiropractic treatments
  • Dietary supplements
  • Yoga
  • Music therapy
  • Guided imagery
  • Lifestyle changes (eat healthy, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep)
  • Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (like tuna and salmon) and folic acid (like avocado and spinach)

FDA, Zoloft and Birth Defects

The FDA has classified Zoloft as a pregnancy category C medication, which means the drug may cause harm to a human fetus when taken during pregnancy. The FDA has also required all sponsors of SSRI antidepressants to change drug prescribing information to include the potential risk for PPHN. If you are currently taking Zoloft and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician immediately. It may be dangerous to suddenly discontinue use of a prescription medication, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with the help of your doctor, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Zoloft for treating your medical condition.

Zoloft Birth Defect Studies

Over the past decade, numerous studies have been conducted by researchers from all over the world, detailing the possible health risks of SSRI antidepressant drugs, including the alleged increased risk of birth defects from Zoloft use in pregnancy. The following are some of the most recent Zoloft birth defect studies:

January 30, 2015 – A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology draws a connection between the use of Zoloft during pregnancy and a 34% increased risk of “hole in the heart” birth defects and a two-times increased risk of a severe skull malformation called craniosynostosis.

June 19, 2014 – Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that women who use antidepressant drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy are more likely to give birth to a baby with a heart malformation.

April 29, 2014 – Patients aged 10-24 who are administered high-dose antidepressant drugs like Zoloft may face double the risk of suicidal behavior, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

October 19, 2012 – A study published in the medical journal Neurology warns that Zoloft treatment may be associated with potentially life-threatening side effects like gastrointestinal bleeding, bleeding in the brain and stroke, especially among patients taking Pradaxa, warfarin and other blood thinner medications.

Why We Think Pfizer Should be Held Liable for Zoloft Birth Defects

Researchers and federal regulators have warned for years that SSRI antidepressants like Zoloft can potentially cause severe birth defects in babies exposed to the prescription drugs during pregnancy. In spite of the alleged risk of birth defects from Zoloft, the antidepressant drug has brought in billions of dollars for Pfizer, and by 2005, Zoloft was the most prescribed antidepressant available, with more than 27 million prescriptions filled and $3.3 billion in sales. Zoloft lawsuits brought against Pfizer allege the following:

  • Pfizer manufactured a dangerous medication.
  • Pfizer had a duty to ensure that Zoloft was safe for consumer use before making it available in the United States.
  • Pfizer knew or should have known about the alleged risk of Zoloft birth defects, and failed to provide the public with adequate warnings about this risk.
  • Pfizer failed to evaluate all clinical trial data and safety information regarding the use of Zoloft during pregnancy.
  • Pfizer downplayed the alleged risk of birth defects from Zoloft use among pregnant women.
  • Pfizer marketed Zoloft as a safe treatment for depression, even in pregnant women and women of childbearing age.

What should you do? If your child was born with a heart malformation or another serious birth defect, contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of filing a Zoloft lawsuit for damages.

Defective drug lawsuits are important not only because they help injured victims collect the compensation they deserve, but also because they bring public attention to the importance of safe medications and the need for more stringent regulations on the dangerous drugs already on the market. Victims of serious injuries associated with the proper use of a defective medication are not at fault, and should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. If you or a loved one has suffered from a severe birth defect, and you believe Zoloft to be the cause, contact a knowledgeable Zoloft lawyer today to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Zoloft lawsuit against Pfizer in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses associated with injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family.

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