Another Zoloft birth defect lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Pennsylvania. The plaintiff, whose daughter was born in 2005 with a birth defect, claims pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s antidepressant Zoloft is to blame.
Zoloft, one of the country’s most popular antidepressant medications, belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While only classified as pregnancy category C by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—meaning adverse effects on the fetus have been recognized in animal studies but not in human testing—substantial evidence exists suggesting use of Zoloft and other SSRIs during pregnancy can increase the probability of birth defects in newborn children. For instance, 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; and another study found that children whose mothers took an SSRI during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 50 percent–increased chance of developing a heart defect.
Recently, even more damning evidence has come to light. In May, a newly publicized document revealed some of Pfizer’s own scientists warned the company that Zoloft may increase the risk of birth defects when used by pregnant women. Just one month later, another document was made available showing yet another scientist tried to get Pfizer to change Zoloft’s safety warning to reflect this possible elevated birth defect risk. As Pfizer begins tackling more than 1,000 pending Zoloft lawsuits, legal experts expect these documents to influence trial outcomes.
The woman behind the new Zoloft lawsuit claims that after taking Zoloft in her first trimester of pregnancy, she was informed following an ultrasound that her unborn child had a bilateral clubbed foot. The diagnosis turned out to be true when the plaintiff gave birth to her daughter in 2005. The plaintiff claims her daughter has had to receive multiple surgeries as a result of the birth defect and will require medical attention for the remainder of her life.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about the medications you are taking. If you or a loved one gave birth to a child with a congenital defect after using Zoloft during pregnancy, contact the SSRI lawyers at Lopez McHugh today for a free consultation, and find out if you qualify for legal compensation through a Zoloft lawsuit.