Zoloft Lawsuit Settlements Still Pending
A study published in 2006 found that between 20 and 30 percent of infants exposed to SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants toward the end of gestation present disorders such as abnormal muscle tone and suction, agitation, seizures, and low sodium levels. Subsequent studies point to a higher risk of Zoloft birth defects when the drug is taken in the first trimester, including:
- PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns)
- Heart defects
- Cranial defects such as craniosynostosis
A number of families affected by Zoloft birth defects have opted to file dangerous drug lawsuits against drug manufacturers.
SSRI antidepressants work by blocking the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. This allows more serotonin to circulate in the brain, which helps to boost mood. SSRIs are commonly prescribed to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In addition to Zoloft (sertraline), common SSRI antidepressants include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Symbyax. All SSRIs are different, but all come with a risk of birth defects like the above-mentioned Zoloft birth defects.
An Italian study published in 2009 found that Zoloft and Lexapro were the most effective treatments for depression, and among those Zoloft was the best tolerated. A later study found that women who take Zoloft during the first trimester are six times more likely to have babies with PPHN. Another antidepressant, Paxil, is also named by the Mayo Clinic as a particular concern in terms of birth defects. While more studies need to be conducted to determine the exact effect of each drug on the development of a fetus, the FDA has issued a warning that there is a risk of birth defects with all SSRIs.
Some families who have children born with Zoloft birth defects have filed lawsuits in pursuit of justice and compensation. So far, no reports have arisen of a Zoloft birth defect lawsuit settlement.
Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer has paid out millions in Zoloft lawsuits not related to birth defects, such as Zoloft suicide lawsuits. The family of the late Phil Hartman’s wife, who shot her husband and herself while on Zoloft, has been granted a lawsuit settlement out of court. Similarly, the family of a teenage boy who hung himself while taking Zoloft also reached a settlement agreement. Pfizer has also paid the government billons in marketing and promotion violations.
Paxil manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $1 billion to settle more than 800 Paxil birth defect claims. The settlement for each family involved averaged roughly $1.2 million.
Contact a Zoloft Birth Defect Lawyer
If you gave birth to a child with a birth defect after taking Zoloft during pregnancy, you may be entitled to pursue compensation in a dangerous drug lawsuit. In such cases, a Zoloft birth defect lawyer can claim that Pfizer was negligent in its failure to adequately research Zoloft side effects and in its failure to warn the public about these risks. To learn more about rights, contact a personal injury Zoloft birth defect lawyer for a free consultation.