Birth Defects Linked to Zoloft
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are a class of anti-depressant medications that are linked to serious and life threatening birth defects for babies who are exposed to them during pregnancy. One of these drugs, Zoloft, has been found to more than triple the risk of serious and deadly birth defects when taken during pregnancy.
Manufacturer Negligence Harmed Your Baby?
Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer had a responsibility to warn women who were taking Zoloft that it could cause birth defects, but the pharmaceutical giant failed to do so. This failure endangered the health and lives of every newborn whose mother unknowingly took Zoloft during pregnancy. Filing a claim against Pfizer shows the company that its negligent behavior will not be tolerated. Furthermore, claims filed against Pfizer could result in proper warnings being issued to women to spare unborn babies and their families the devastation that yours experienced.
Congenital Defects Linked to SSRI Exposure:
In 2009, the British Medical Journal published a study that found Zoloft use during pregnancy triples a baby’s risk of developing congenital heart defects. The results of this study encouraged the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to force Pfizer to change Zoloft’s label, so that it indicates some of the serious risks to unborn children. Heart defects that may be caused by drugs like Zoloft include:
- Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
- Ventral Septal Defect (VSD)
- Cardiomyopathy (heart disease)
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS)
- Bicuspid aortic valve
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Tricuspid stenosis
- Cleft mitral valve
- Tetralogy of Fallot
Spina Bifida/Neural Tube Defects
Maternal use of Zoloft during pregnancy may also increase the risk of infants being born with spina bifida or other defects of the brain and spinal cord. These defects are known as neural tube defects (NTDs) and infants prenatally exposed to Zoloft may experience:
- Spina Bifida – An NTD in which the fetal spinal column does not close completely during the first month of pregnancy. This condition may result in partial or full paralysis.
- Anencephaly – An NTD in which much of the brain does not develop. This is a fatal condition. Babies who suffer this are either still born or pass away shortly after birth.
According to the University of Ulm, Germany’s Institute of Reproductive Toxicity and Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center, women who took an SSRI such as Zoloft while pregnant may gave birth to children with club foot.
- Club Foot – A malformation of the bones, joints, muscles and blood vessels in the foot, causing it to be turned in and unable to be brought to a normal position.
Abdominal and Cranial Birth Defects
The National Birth Defects Prevention Study released information that links Zoloft to the risk of two congenital abnormalities: craniosynostosis and omphalocele.
- Craniosynostosis – Skull defect causing head shape to be abnormal.
- Omphalocele – Abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord.
Zoloft History & Timeline
- 2007 – A strong connection was found between Zoloft and septal defects by a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that mothers who took Zoloft during pregnancy have double the risk of infant septal defects – a life threatening heart defect.
- 2007 – Zoloft label was changed again to include a suicidal behavior warning for young adults aged 18 to 24.
- 2006 – The FDA issued an advisory warning of the serious risk of PPHN associated with maternal use of SSRIs, such as Zoloft. Labels on SSRIs were required to reflect this risk.
- 2006 – Research began to emerge linking SSRIs to serious and life-threatening birth defects, as well as higher likelihood of miscarriage and stillborn babies. Studies show that infants born to women who took Zoloft during pregnancy may experience withdrawal symptoms, as well.
- 2005 – FDA adds a black box warning to Zoloft and other antidepressants (the most severe warning issuable) regarding pediatric suicidal behavior.
- 2002 – Zoloft approved for pediatric use in children suffering from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Your Legal Rights
If your baby was born with a birth defect after being exposed to Zoloft, or another SSRI anti-depressant, you and your family deserve compensation for the associated physical, financial and emotional suffering. Please contact the qualified Zoloft attorneys at The Oshman Firm to learn more about your legal rights and options. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation during which we will evaluate your case and determine the best way to help you and your family.
Victims across the country are currently submitting their information to determine if a lawsuit against Pfizer will get their family compensation to offset the burdens of Zoloft injury. Take the first step in finding justice for your loved one by filling out the form today.