In June 2012, 38 plaintiffs filed a lawsuit claiming that the antidepressant Zoloft caused birth defects in their newborns. According to reports, the suit alleges that Pfizer, the manufacturer of the drug, failed to properly warn consumers and medical professionals about Zoloft’s potential to cause birth defects. The lawsuit also goes on to accuse Pfizer of actually marketing Zoloft to pregnant women, despite the fact it knew, or should have known, about the risks associated with its drug.
These studies prompted a rash of lawsuits against Pfizer that claimed the pharmaceutical giant failed to properly study the drug before releasing it to the public.
Since gaining FDA approval in 1991, Zoloft has been used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and certain premenstrual disorders, in addition to depression. While the drug currently enjoys popularity in the United States, the decision to approve Zoloft was not an enthusiastic one. Reportedly, clinical studies indicated that the drug improved symptoms of depression only marginally and, according to the FDA’s director of neuropharmacological products, the choice to approve Zoloft was a “tough decision.” Further controversy was added in 2005, when the FDA revised the drug label to include warnings of suicidal behavior in young children. A year later, the New England Journal of Medicine made public the potential link between Zoloft and birth defects by suggesting the drug might be associated with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn. In that same year, the FDA released a public health advisory to alert the medical community of Zoloft’s possible risks.
After the New England Journal of Medicine findings were made public, other researchers began examining Zoloft, ultimately confirming a link between the drug and birth defects. Specifically, researchers found a connection between a mother’s ingestion of Zoloft and birth defects such as omphalocele, septal heart defects and atrial heart defects. These studies prompted a rash of lawsuits against Pfizer that claimed the pharmaceutical giant failed to properly study the drug before releasing it to the public.
The defective drug attorneys at ClassAction.org understand the emotional and financial toll a birth defect can have on families. While there is no amount of money that can fix the situation entirely, we are committed to recovering the highest compensation for our clients and their families to get everyone’s life back on track after a newborn suffers a serious birth defect. If your child suffered a birth defect that you believe was caused by Zoloft, do not hesitate to fill out our free, no-obligation case review form on the right and learn more about your potential legal options moving forward.