Schmidt & Clark, LLP continues to be contacted by women who used the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect. Numerous studies have linked to Zoloft and birth defects, and over 300 Zoloft lawsuits have been filed. Many women accuse Pfizer of putting corporate profits above public safety by failing to warn about the risk of birth defects.




What is Zoloft?

Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medication that has been sold by Pfizer Inc. since 1991. It belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which treat psychiatric disorders by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. It is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.

Zoloft and Pregnancy

Zoloft is “Pregnancy Category C,” which means that animal studies have shown harm to a fetus, but the risk in humans is unknown. During pregnancy, Zoloft is known to pass through the placenta and the baby’s blood-brain barrier. Experts know this because studies indicate that up to 30% of babies exposed to Zoloft through the third trimester are born with symptoms of withdrawal (agitation, tremors, high-pitched crying, convulsions, poor feeding and sleeping, and more).

Studies Linking Zoloft and Birth Defects

Numerous studies have associated Zoloft with an increased risk of birth defects, particularly heart defects and abdominal defects. These studies include:

FDA Warning for Zoloft and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Public Health Advisory about the link between Zoloft and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), a life-threatening lung defect that is fatal in 10% of cases. Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants were associated with a six-fold increased risk of PPHN. However, in 2011, the FDA published an update after reviewing studies giving conflicting results linking antidepressants and PPHN.

Zoloft Lawsuits

Pharmaceutical companies have an obligation to warn women and their doctors about the risks of taking a medication during pregnancy. When they fail to do so, victims have a right to seek financial compensation for their injuries. Although filing a Zoloft lawsuit can never heal the devastating results of a serious birth defect, it can help you and your family pay for medical bills and future treatment of your child. In addition, you can have the satisfaction of holding a pharmaceutical company accountable for putting corporate profits over public safety.

Zoloft Lawsuits Centralized in Federal Litigation

If you decide to file a Zoloft lawsuit, you won’t be alone. Since April 2012, over 400 lawsuits have been filed in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2342) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania: In Re: Zoloft (Sertraline Hydrochloride) Products Liability Litigation. All of the lawsuits allege that Zoloft causes birth defects in children when their mothers take the drug during pregnancy.

Zoloft Lawsuit Settlement Information

Women who filed lawsuits for birth defects caused by Paxil, an antidepressant that is similar to Zoloft, were awarded average settlements of $1.2 million per case, or $1 billion total. Pfizer is not currently settling Zoloft lawsuits; instead, lawyers will select certain cases for “bellwether” trials. However, Zoloft lawsuit settlements could be reached before trials begin.

Zoloft Birth Defects

  • Heart Defect
  • Septal Heart Defects
  • Atrial Septal Defect
  • Ventricular Septal Defect
  • Hole in the Heart
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Transposition of the great vessels
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
  • Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Heart Murmur
  • Tricuspid Valve Atresia
  • Ebstein’s Anomaly
  • Truncus Arteriosus
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse
  • Abdominal Defects
  • Omphalocele
  • Gastroschisis
  • PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn)
  • Skull Defect
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Neural Tube Defects
  • Spina Bifida
  • Anencephaly
  • Encephalocele
  • Hydranencephaly
  • Physical Malformations
  • Clubfoot
  • Hypoplasia
  • Limb Defects
  • Polydactyly
  • Cloacal Exstrophy
  • Esophageal Atresia
  • Esophageal Stenosis
  • Hypospadia
  • Undescended Testes
  • Anal Atresia
  • Seizure
  • Premature Birth
  • Neonatal Withdrawal
  • Cleft Lip
  • Cleft Palate
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Infant Death

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