Alabama Zoloft Birth Defect Lawyers
Zoloft is a drug that has recently been linked to birth defects after use during pregnancy. The The DiLorenzo Law Firm, LLC is now accepting clients that have given birth to a child with a birth defect after Zoloft use during the first trimester of pregnancy. We are actively reviewing and filing Zoloft lawsuits. A study was recently published linking Zoloft use with birth defects. Zoloft is a drug prescribed for the treatment of depression, OCD, panic attacks, social anxiety disorders, and PTSD. It is now known that Zoloft may cause birth defects when the drug is taken during pregnancy, especially the first trimester. Zoloft is manufactured by global health care company Pfizer, Inc.
Zoloft® is generically known as sertraline hydrochloride and is a drug prescribed to treat major depression in adults, as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic and social anxiety disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder in both adults and children. Zoloft is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug, meaning that it selectively affects serotonin. Serotonin is one of many chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which pass messages between nerve cells, and has recently been linked in various studies to an increased risk of birth defects. Recent studies have shown that serotonin, even during the first trimester of pregnancy, helps to shape the basic brian function that will be applied to learning and emoting later in life.
Zoloft Side Effects
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially placed SSRI antidepressants, including Zoloft, in its pregnancy "Category C," which means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus. However, there have not yet been adequate and well-controlled studies in humans. Pregnancy categories measure the teratogenic effects a drug has on a fetus. Teratogenic means that a drug or other substance is capable of interfering with the development of a fetus, so there could be serious risks to the unborn baby of a woman taking Zoloft while pregnant.
Birth defects or conditions that may be associated with the use of Zoloft include:
- Abdominal wall defects (infant omphalocele)
- Anal atresia (complete or partial closure of the anus)
- Cleft lip
- Cleft palate
- Heart defects
- Skull defect (craniosynostosis)
- Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
Autism and SSRI Antidepressants
The Archive of General Psychiatry published a report in July of 2011 linking SSRI antidepressants such as Zoloft to a potentially increased risk of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in babies born to mothers who took these drugs during the first trimester of pregnancy. Performed by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California, the population-based, case-control study compared a group of 298 children having varying degrees of autism and their mothers to another group of 1,507 randomly selected children and their mothers. Nearly 70 children from each group were exposed to antidepressants in the same class as Zoloft, and the researchers found a possible connection between mothers who took these drugs within a year before delivery and an increased the risk of their babies being born with ASDs. The highest risk was found to be among those whose mothers took these drugs during the first trimester.
Zoloft Linked To Birth Defects
Although Zoloft had shown significant promise in treating multiple disorders, complaints have surfaced over time related to the use of Zoloft during pregnancy. Of course, some side effects can be expected from the use of powerful medications like Zoloft; however, the issues cited by some Zoloft users have been far more serious than the mild side effects outlined in the drug’s labeling.
Most notably, women who used Zoloft during pregnancy began to show extremely high rates of serious birth defects, like cleft lip and cleft palate in their children. Such a warning is nowhere to be found in the label, which raises serious questions about the testing and scientific research Pfizer undertook during product development. And, when Pfizer rushed this drug through the FDA to the marketplace, it is likely that they disregarded scientific consensus about SSRI effects - in order to make a profit.
Zoloft was approved by the FDA and introduced into the market in 1991. Prior to 2002, the drug was approved only for use in adults ages 18 and over. In 2002, the FDA approved Zoloft to treat severe obsessive compulsive disorder in children ages six and older. The FDA issued a Public Health Advisory on December 8, 2005, warning that use of certain antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of birth defects. The advisory was based on U.S. and Swedish studies showing that exposure to certain antidepressants increased the rish of heart defects, including atrial and ventrical septal defects, conditions in which the wall between the right and left sides of the heart is not completely developed.
Citing a study by Christina Chambers of the University of California, San Diego, that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Health Canada issued a strong warning in March 2006 to pregnant women or women who were trying to become pregnant that antidepressant drugs like Zoloft could potentially pose serious risks to unborn or even nursing babies.
A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found a “significant association” between Zoloft and septal defects. A septal defect is a congenital defect that affects the structures of the heart. Septal defects can lead to the improper circulation of blood, making the heart work overtime. An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall between the heart’s two upper chambers. A hole in the wall between the two lower chambers is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). Septal defects can be life threatening. According to the study, mothers who take Zoloft during pregnancy may double the risk of having an baby born with septal defects.
In another study published in the March 2010 issue of Pediatrics, researchers found a potential association between exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy and a delay in normal motor development skills at six and 19 months of age. The same researchers, in a 2009 study published by British Medical Journal, found that women who were pregnant and taking certain antidepressants during the first trimester had an increased risk of giving birth to babies having various heart defects.
A recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Montreal and published online on May 31, 2010, in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that women who take antidepressants like Zoloft during the first trimester of pregnancy are significantly more likely to suffer a miscarriage than women who do not take antidepressants.
Contact Alabama Zoloft Injury Attorneys
If your baby was born with a birth defect after your Zoloft use during pregnancy, you may have a defective product claim against Pfizer, Inc. Call our Birmingham, Alabama offices today for a free consultation. Our office number is 1 - (800) 200-3604. Do not wait another day and risk losing your claim.
The attorneys at The DiLorenzo Law Firm, LLC are now accepting Zoloft clients and filing lawsuits nationwide. Due to your baby's injury, you may be able to recover damages (monetary compensation) for your pain, suffering, and medical treatment expenses.
The DiLorenzo Law Firm, LLC's experienced injury trial lawyers have extensive experience with product liability claims, specifically those involving defective and dangerous drugs.
Zoloft Lawsuits and Legal Representation
The Zoloft side effect lawyers at The DiLorenzo Law Firm, LLC have a proven track record of success in helping our clients obtain compensation for injuries resulting from the use of dangerous medications like Zoloft.
Our experienced team of legal professionals and Zoloft lawyers has been helping dangerous drug injury victims for years. We are dedicated to achieving real justice for the clients we serve can assure them that we will work diligently to achieve a satisfactory result.
Alabama Zoloft Statute of Limitations
Alabama has a two year statute of limitations on filing certain product liability and personal injury claims. It takes time to acquire medical records and draft pleadings, so please do not delay in contacting us if you have any concern that your baby's birth defect may have been caused by Zoloft.