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The first federal bellwether case to be tried over congenital birth defect side effects of the Zoloft SSRI antidepressant drug use during pregnancy is scheduled for September 2014.

What is Zoloft?

Zoloft is a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer. Zoloft has been associated with a number of dangerous, and deadly malformations and congenital birth defects. 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 and deadly birth defects. Zoloft (sertraline) is one of the most widely prescribed medications in the United States.

Zoloft Birth Defect Allegations

The mothers claim they took Zoloft as prescribed by treating doctors 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 severe congenital malformations.

The mothers claim the defects and injuries suffered were a direct result of the use of Zoloft during pregnancy. The moms 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. All of the complaints allege that Pfizer failed to adequately warn patients and their doctors that use of Zoloft during pregnancy may increase the risk of congenital birth defects for children.

Congenital Birth Defects Seen with Zoloft Use During Pregnancy

SSRI antidepressant use has been linked to serious health problems for babies, including persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), hole in the heart, transposition of the great vessels, spina bifida, brain defects, lung defects, abdominal defects and cranial defects.

Zoloft SSRI Antidepressant History

Zoloft (sertraline) was released by Pfizer in 1991 for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. By 2007 there were nearly 30 million prescriptions, making it the most prescribed antidepressant in the United States.

Zoloft SSRI Federal MDL

All lawsuits filed in the federal court system are currently consolidated for pretrial proceedings as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, which is centralized in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

What are Bellwether Trials?

In defective or dangerous drug pharmaceutical lawsuits, there are usually a large number of claims involve similar allegations or injuries. Typically a small group of cases are tried and these are known as bellwether trials. The result of these, allows the parties to assess how juries are likely to respond to the evidence and testimony that is presented and if the result are favorable to the plaintiffs, then outcome that can facilitate a possible Zoloft settlement agreement.

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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

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