According to Bloomberg, a Pfizer, Inc., report made public recently shows that a scientist warned the pharmaceutical giant that its antidepressant drug Zoloft may increase the risk of birth defects when taken by pregnant women. The scientist evidently suggested that Pfizer revise Zoloft’s safety warning to reflect this potential link. Experts are already anticipating how this new information will affect Zoloft birth defect lawsuits.
Zoloft belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Doctors often prescribe SSRIs to help treat depression, anxiety, bulimia, and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Zoloft is one of the most popular SRRIs in the country, with tens of millions of prescriptions each year. However, multiple studies have linked Zoloft and other SSRIs to serious heart and lung birth defects in children. One study showed that women who took a certain SSRI during the first three months of pregnancy were twice as likely to give birth to children with heart defects. In another study, researchers found that children whose mothers took an SSRI during the first three months of pregnancy had a 50 percent–increased risk of developing a heart defect.
Women who gave birth to children with heart defects after using Zoloft during pregnancy have filed Zoloft birth defect lawsuits. In 2012, a judicial panel ruled that Zoloft birth defect lawsuits filed against Pfizer would be consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Since then, the number of Zoloft lawsuits has continued to grow. Currently, over 1,000 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits are pending against Pfizer.
The new evidence joins a May 2014 report, in which Pfizer researchers concluded that women who take Zoloft during pregnancy risk giving birth to children with birth defects. Plaintiffs in Zoloft birth defect lawsuit will no doubt be asking how Pfizer missed these and other red flags linking its antidepressant to an increased risk of birth defects.
Check with your doctor or physician before switching or suspending medications, and be sure to express any health concerns you may have. If you or someone you know gave birth to a child with a birth defect after taking Zoloft while pregnant, contact the Zoloft attorneys at Lopez McHugh now for a free legal consultation. You may be eligible to receive compensation through your own Zoloft birth defect lawsuit.