Research indicates that the risk of serious birth defects increases for babies whose mothers took certain anti-depressants, such as Zoloft, during pregnancy.
Zoloft (generic: sertraline) belongs to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) drug class. Manufactured by Pfizer, Zoloft was approved by the FDA in 1991 to treat major depression. By 2007, Zoloft was the most prescribed anti-depressant in the United States. SSRI anti-depressants, such as Zoloft, have been linked to many serious and life-threatening birth defects, such as:
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) – 6 times increased risk
- Anencephaly (fatal neural tube defect) – 2.5 times increased risk
- Clubfoot – 5 times increased risk
- Craniosynostosis (craniofacial defect) – 2.5 times increased risk
- Omphalocele (abdominal wall defect) – nearly tripled risk
- Gastroschisis (abdominal wall defect) – 30 percent increased risk
- Pulmonary Atresia – 3 times increased risk
- Spina Bifida – 60 percent increased risk
- Diaphragmatic Hernia – 80 percent increased risk
- Esophageal Atresia – 30 percent increased risk
- Heart Defects – nearly doubled risk
Anti-Depressants Linked to Birth Defects
Extensive research, including two studies published in the June 2007 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine and two studies published in The British Medical Journal, has linked anti-depressant exposure before birth to increased risks of developing congenital defects, including those listed above. There are also currently lawsuits filed against Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer by parents of babies born with birth defects allegedly caused by Paxil exposure. More suits are expected to be filed.
Your Baby’s Rights
If your baby was born with one or more congenital defects that may have been caused by exposure to Zoloft or another anti-depressant before birth, your family deserves financial compensation. Although no amount of money can change what happened to your baby, compensation will help offset the current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you and your baby have experienced.
Filing a claim will also teach the manufacturers of unsafe medications that it is unacceptable to not warn parents of the risks associated with these drugs, including serious birth defects. Your suit may even prevent other families from suffering as yours has, by forcing the pharmaceutical company to change their drug’s label to warn parents of the potential risks.
You may be eligible for compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with your baby’s injury. Contact us today to set up a free consultation, during which we will listen to your story, answer any questions you may have and discuss your legal rights and options. If you choose us to represent you, we will work with you on a contingency fee basis; this means you pay nothing until we have secured compensation for you, either through a jury verdict or settlement.