Zoloft Lawsuit

Zoloft Lawsuit
Hundreds of Zoloft lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer, Inc. that accuse the drug maker of marketing the antidepressant medication to pregnant women, even though it has never been proven safe for a developing fetus. Plaintiffs further allege that Pfizer concealed evidence linking Zoloft to birth defects, and failed to warn doctors and patients about this risk.

Zoloft Legal Reviews

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is providing free legal reviews to individuals who may have been harmed by Zoloft. To learn more, please contact our attroneys at (888) 994-5118.

Zoloft Birth Defects Studies

Zoloft belong to a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. These drugs increase the activity of serotonin in the brain. It is believed that this neurotransmitter impacts mood. When SSRIs were first launched on the market, they were touted as a safer alternative to older drugs. However, some recent studies suggest that that the use of SSRIs during pregnancy might increase the likelihood that a fetus will develop major birth defects.

  • In 2006, a Danish study reported that pregnant who used SSRIs in their first trimester were 60% more likely to give birth to a baby with a heart problem compared to the general population. They were also more likely to have a child with an oral cleft
  • In 2009, the British Medical Journal reported that babies exposed to more than one type of antidepressant in the first trimester were three times more likely to be born with a septal heart defect (hole in the heart). Zoloft was one of the medications associated with the highest
  • In June 2011, a study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology suggested that women who were treated with antidepressants during the first trimester are twice as likely to have babies with isolated ventricular septal defects and four times more likely to deliver babies with right ventricular outflow tract defects.
  • A 2007 New England Journal of Medicine study suggested that pregnant women who took SSRIs one month prior to conception were more likely to have a baby with anencephaly, craniosynostosis and omphalocele.
  • In 2016, research published in JAMA: Pediatrics suggested that the use of the SSRIs in the latter two semesters of pregnancy might increase the risk of autism spectrum disorder by as much as 117%.

Document Suggests Pfizer Was Warned of Birth Defects Risk

According to Bloomberg News, a scientist warned Pfizer officials in April 2014 about a possible link between Zoloft and certain birth defects.

Francesca Kolitsopoulous, who was the associate director in Pfizer’s Worldwide Safety Strategy unit’s epidemiology group, said in an internal company report she reviewed published studies that showed an association between the medicine and “cardiac malformations, which could be causal.”

Her April 2014 review concluded researchers found links between Zoloft and septal heart defects, a congenital disorder that features a hole in a baby’s heart. The researchers also found ties between the anti-depressant and omphalocele, a birth defect of the abdominal wall, with intestines or organs forming outside the belly.”

Per the Bloomberg report, Kolitsopoulous proposed that Zoloft label be modified to reflect these potential risks.

Legal Help for Victims of Zoloft Birth Defects

Victims of heart defects and other birth defects that might be associated with Zoloft could be eligible to file a lawsuit against Pfizer, Inc. To learn more about Zoloft lawsuits, please call (888) 994-5118.

  1. NCBI (2006) “SSRI Antidepressants and Birth Defects” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17167929
  2. BMJ (2009) “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and congenital malformations: population based cohort study” http://www.bmj.com/content/339/bmj.b3569
  3. MedPage Today (2011) “More Evidence SSRIs in Pregnancy Boost Birth Defect Risk” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/745430
  4. NEJM (2007) “Use of Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors in Pregnancy and the Risk of Birth Defects” http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa066584
  5. JAMA Pediatrics (2016) “Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy and the Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children”   http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2476187
  6. Bloomberg News (2015) “Pfizer Report Warns of Possible Zoloft and Birth Defect Link” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-08/pfizer-report-discloses-potential-zoloft-and-birth-defect-link
Last Modified: February 23, 2016

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