Zoloft, generically called Sertraline, is an anti-depressant that was introduced to the pharmaceutical drug market in 1991 by Pfizer. The drug is commonly prescribed to patients experiencing major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety.
In 2011, over 37 million prescriptions were written for Sertraline in the United States, the second most prescribed medication on the market.
Among several side effects to adults, women who have taken Zoloft during pregnancy might experience severe birth defects to their infants including abdominal wall defects, anorectal malformations, limb reductions defects, and heart defects.
Quick action is essential in Zoloft birth defect cases, as the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit could be running out. A Zoloft lawyer is standing by to discuss your case today. Call 855-522-2337 to speak to a Top 100 Trial Lawyer.
Zoloft belongs in a class of drugs called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRI’s. This class of drugs is thought to increase the levels of Serotonin in the brain, relieving symptoms commonly associated with mood disorders. SSRI’s stop the brain from reabsorbing serotonin, making a larger amount available to stimulate nerve cells. This process claims to positively influence the mood of the user and relieve depressive symptoms.
Zoloft has been prescribed to pregnant women although the FDA has labeled SSRI’s as a grade “C.” This means studies on animals have shown increased harm, but since it is unethical to test pharmaceuticals on human infants, the effects remain unknown.
Zoloft FDA Warnings
A 2006 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) of newborns after being exposed to SSRI’s, like Zoloft, during pregnancy. Over 1,000 American women were enrolled in the study, which was conducted between 1998 – 2003. The study showed infants whose mothers took SSRI’s after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to have PPHN than those who were not exposed to antidepressants during pregnancy.
Several months after this study was published, the FDA required Pfizer to issue a warning to doctors and pregnant women on its label.
Side Effects of Zoloft
Although Zoloft is the second most prescribed drug in the US, there is a long list of severe side effects. You should never stop taking a medication, such as Zoloft, until you have consulted with your medical professional. If you are taking Zoloft and you experience any of the following side effects, contact your doctor immediately:
- Suicidal thoughts – studies have shown a higher risk for suicide in patients under the age of 25
- Sexual dysfunction – includes erectile dysfunction and decreased libido
- Fever, sweating, confusion, fast or irregular heartbeat, and severe muscle stiffness
- Abnormal bleeding or bruising
- Hallucinating – seeing things or hearing voices that do not exist
- Omphalocele – organs are formed outside of the body during fetal development
- Spontaneous abortion – losing a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy
- Cardiovascular malformation – fetal heart defects
- Infant withdrawal and distress – respiratory distress, cyanosis, apnea, seizures, temperature instability, feeding difficulty, vomiting, irritability, and constant crying
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN) – a condition affecting a newborn’s heart and lungs, preventing the newborn from breathing outside of the womb
- Fetal brain damage
- Fetal death
This is not intended to be a complete list of side effects, and you should immediately contact your doctor if you are having any other problems.
Parents have filed hundreds of lawsuits against Pfizer claiming the drug was unethically marketed towards pregnant women and that it has caused irreparable damage to their children. Many infants and children have experienced heart problems that have caused them to spend their young lives in doctors’ offices. Many have had multiple surgeries. A few children have even died. Parents caring for these injuries face significant medical costs and financial hardship.
A growing number of lawsuits against Pfizer have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. You have a right to join in this fight against large pharmaceutical companies, like Pfizer, who put money over the lives of their consumers.
The serious side effects caused by Zoloft can last a lifetime. You and your child deserve to be compensated for the grief, worry, and long-term medical treatment that could have been avoided had Pfizer properly warned doctors and their patients about its usage.
Zoloft Birth Defect Lawyer
Pharmaceutical companies have placed their shareholders and profits ahead of proper drug testing and labeling, putting the general public at risk. The constant FDA Zoloft warnings and revisions serve to warn the public of the dangers associated with antidepressants such as Zoloft. Large pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the harm they negligently cause their consumers.
For his aggressive and compassionate legal representation, Christopher Dixon is recognized as Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association, as well as listed among the Top 40 under 40. Chris is also a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his ongoing efforts on behalf of injury victims.
If you took Zoloft while pregnant and your child suffered a birth defect or other side effect, contact a St. Louis Zoloft lawyer to discuss your case at 855-552-2337. We are help to help Zoloft users across all 50 states. All consultations are free and there is no fee unless we win your case. Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case with Top 100 Trial Lawyer.