Zoloft

ZOLOFT LAWSUIT ALERT!

INFANTS EXPOSED TO ZOLOFT PRIOR TO BIRTH

MAY BE AT AN INCREASED RISK OF HEART DEFECTS

Were you taking Zoloft during pregnancy and have a baby with a heart defect?  A recent study suggests a Zoloft side effect could be an increased likelihood of being born with a heart defect if the mother was taking Zoloft while pregnant.  Kogan & Associates is currently reviewing cases in which a mother was taking Zoloft during pregnancy, and her child was born with a heart defect.  

Zoloft was originally approved by the FDA to treat a variety of mental issues including:  depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pre menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorders, and social anxiety disorder (SAD).  The manufacturer of the drug began marketing it for other purposes not specified on the label, and for purposes that were not approved by the FDA.  Because of this issue, the Federal Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications advised the manufacturer to stop marketing the drug for the purposes in 1996.

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Zoloft is a referred to as a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), that has been found to increase the chance of birth defects when taken by women who are pregnant.  The birth defects associated with this antidepressant include defects of the heart, persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN), abdominal defects, cranial defects, lung defects, and other fetal malformations.

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Over the course of the past five years, there have been a number of studies that have found a direct link between birth defects and the use of Zoloft.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required its first warnings about the risk of birth defects from Zoloft use in November of 2006.  It was at this time that the FDA warned expectant mothers that taking the drug after the 20th week of pregnancy put them at a nearly six times greater risk of having a child with heart defects.  By 2007, independent researchers found that taking Zoloft even in the earlier stages of pregnancy increased the risk for

  • gastrointestinal defects,
  • skull malformations, and
  • brain defects

In 2009, the British Medical Journal reported that women taking Zoloft in their first trimester, even before they knew they were pregnant were at an increased chance of having a baby with heart problems.  Because of these findings, pregnant women, and those who may become pregnant, should use care when taking this medication.

Since the risks associated with the use of Zoloft and birth defects have been brought to the forefront, there have been a large number of lawsuits filed against the manufacturer.  These suits claim that that manufacturer did not adequately warn consumers of the potential danger, they did not research the possibility of birth defects, and they did not warn health care providers about the potential for birth defects.  If this information had been made available, users of Zoloft may have opted to stop using the drug, or may have chosen a different form of treatment.

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