Florida lawsuit claims Zoloft in pregnancy caused birth defects

A Florida woman has filed a new Zoloft side effects lawsuit claiming that her child was born with birth defects after she was prescribed the SSRI antidepressant during pregnancy. She claims that drug company Pfizer knew, but failed to warn, of the risks associated with the medication.

Attorneys for the Florida woman claim that her child suffered multiple birth defects for which the she has been treated and will need more treatment in the future. The lawsuit seeks to recover personal injury damages in excess of $75,000 on counts of negligence, fraud, defective design and failure to warn.

The case will become part of the newly-created Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) in the federal District Court in Philadelphia, PA, where Zoloft lawsuits filed across the U.S. are being transferred for pretrial litigation. All of the cases in the MDL claim that use of Zoloft in pregnancy caused a child to suffer one or more congenital birth defects.

Zoloft (sertraline) has been on the market in the U.S. since 1991, when it was approved by the FDA to treat depression. It belongs to a class of antidepressant medications known as selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other SSRI antidepressants incude Celexa (citalopram), Lexapro (escitalopram), Prozac (fluoxetine), Luvox (fluvoxamine), and Paxil (paroxetine).

Several studies have linked SSRI use while pregnant to an increased risk of a myriad of birth defects. A 2002 study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that using an SSRI while pregnant resulted in an increased risks of low birth weight and gestational age. This finding was supported by a 2006 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. A different 2006 study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, linked SSRI use after the 20th week of pregnancy to a higher risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). In 2007, another study published in the New England Journal of Medicine examining the effects of SSRIs on unborn children also found that exposure to SSRIs durning the first trimester of pregnancy increased the risk of septal heart defects (holes in the heart) as well as other birth defects. A 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal linked the SSRI antidepressants Zoloft and Celexa to a significantly increased risk of septal heart defects.

If your baby child suffered a birth defect after Zoloft use while pregnant, you should speak with an attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have a right to financial compensation. Time limits apply. Act now. Contact us now for a free consultation with an experienced Zoloft lawyer who is ready to help you.

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