Nineteen defective drug product liability cases have been filed against the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer after mothers alleged that their children suffered from birth defects due to Zoloft. These were filed in West Virginia state court.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer. Zoloft has been associated with a number of dangerous, even deadly, health risks.
The most serious of these health risks involves women who become pregnant while taking Zoloft, or who are prescribed Zoloft during pregnancy. Studies have linked Zoloft use during pregnancy to serious birth defects.
Zoloft Medical History
A British Medical Journal, September 2009 study reveals that exposure to Zoloft before birth more than triples a baby’s risk of septal heart defects.
As reported in New England Journal of Medicine, June 2007 two studies link use of SSRI anti-depressants during pregnancy to increased risk of birth defects of the heart, brain and spine, face and head, organs, abdomen and more.
Epidemiology Journal, October 2006, research shows that women who take an SSRI during the second or third month of pregnancy are twice as likely to have a child with birth defects than women who take no SSRIs.
FDA Label Change
FDA required in 2006, change to SSRI prescribing information to reflect the increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, a life threatening birth defect.
Zoloft Lawsuit Allegations
The mother plaintiffs claim they took Zoloft as prescribed by treating physicians while pregnant. According to the complaints, the children were born with congenital defects, such as atrial septal defect, multiple holes in the heart and/or began to suffer from persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, neural tube defects, craniofacial defects and other adverse congenital malformations.
The plaintiffs claim the defects and injuries suffered were a direct result of the mothers' ingestion of Zoloft during pregnancy. The plaintiffs claim prior to becoming pregnant, the defendants knew or should have known that children were being born with congenital birth defects, heart defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn and other related conditions to women who took Zoloft during pregnancy.
Plaintiffs claim in addition that the drug is defective; dangerous to human health; unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold; and lacks the proper warnings as to the dangers associated with its use.
Zoloft MDL Consolidation
At least 137 similar Zoloft lawsuits have already been filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the United States on behalf of children who suffer health problems that were allegedly caused by their mother’s use of the antidepressant during pregnancy.
These complaints will probably be transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania,where it will be consolidated with other federal lawsuits over birth defects from Zoloft that are centralized for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
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Zoloft® Heart and Spina Bifida Birth Defects, Zoloft SSRI Birth Defects MDL Lawsuit Posted on August 4, 2012, Pfizer Zoloft Side Effects Caused Child Heart Defects Posted August 2, 2012, Motion to Consolidate Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuits Posted February 28, 2012, Lexapro Lawsuits Filed For Birth Defects Posted February 25, 2012
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.