Recent studies have found that side effects of the antidepressant Zoloft may include birth defects in babies born to mothers who use the drug during pregnancy. Lawsuits accuse Pfizer of actively marketing Zoloft to pregnant women despite the significant risk to unborn babies.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft is an antidepressant that was originally developed by Pfizer in 1990. It was first released in the U.K. under the brand name Lustral. Nine years after its release in the U.K., the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zoloft for use in the U.S. By 2005, Zoloft was the most widely-prescribed antidepressant in America, with nearly 30 million prescriptions filled annually.
Zoloft Birth Defects
Antidepressants like Zoloft have been linked to the following birth defects:
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Children who were born with one or more these defects following their mother’s use of Zoloft in pregnancy may require multiple surgeries to treat their injuries. In babies with heart defects, the patient may need a surgery during his or her first few years, followed by subsequent procedures later on in life. These treatments can result in costly bills for the child’s family; however, those who elect to take legal action for their children’s injuries may be able to file a lawsuit seeking recovery for the cost of medical bills and other damages.
Has a Zoloft Class Action Been Filed?
Hundreds of Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuits are currently pending in state and federal litigation across the country. However, these complaints are not part of a class action. Instead, they are individual legal claims. Most of the cases are centralized in a federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL No. 2342) in Pennsylvania. However, a number of cases have also been filed in state courts including AL, CA, IL, MO and NY.