More Zoloft-related lawsuits are being filed against Pfizer, alleging Zoloft birth defects affected infants born with congenital birth defects and other serious health problems. The Zoloft birth defects lawsuits contend that pregnant mothers took the antidepressant while pregnant, and that by doing so, exposed their unborn babies to Zoloft defects. The defects include ventricular septal defect, craniosynostosis and cleft palate.
Pfizer knew, or reasonably should have known, that its antidepressant was linked to an increased risk of birth defects and included inadequate warnings on the label. Zoloft, known generically as sertraline, is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Various studies have linked the drugs to side effects including congenital heart defects, cleft palate, craniosynostosis, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and developmental delays. Other studies have not found a link between the antidepressants and birth defects.
The risks vary depending on the drug used. For example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 found the risk of a heart defect was double in women who took Zoloft during the first few months of pregnancy but triple in women who used Paxil. Among the birth defects that increased with Zoloft use were omphalocele and septal defects. Women who have depression and are pregnant face a decision in whether or not to take antidepressants while pregnant. While there are risks to taking antidepressants while pregnant, there are also risks to having untreated depression during pregnancy.
If you have any questions about the Zoloft litigation, contact Roger Smith, a lawyer in our Mass Torts Section, at 800-898-2034 or by email at Roger.Smith@beasleyallen.com.
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