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Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that was developed and manufactured by Pfizer in early 90's. Sertraline affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
In 2013, it was the most prescribed antidepressant. It is administered both in adults and children to treat conditions such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety.
Since the drug's introduction, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued alerts regarding unreported side effects of Zoloft, some of which have led to litigation.
Zoloft is suspected to produce causing birth defects in babies born to mothers who took the drug while pregnant. Some birth defects detected are as follows
- Mental problems
- Abnormal blood pressure
- Physical deformities
- Stomach problems
- Hearing Loss
- Cleft lip, Cleft palate, Club foot, webbed toes
- Vision problems
- Skull deformities
- Heart defects
Along with the above conditions, Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a potentially life-threatening condition that causes severe breathing problems is the most serious birth defect that is noted. In addition, one study showed that women taking sertraline had twice the risk of having a baby born with a heart defect.
Accordingly lawsuits were filed that claim Pfizer did not offer adequate warning about the risks of taking Zoloft. Federal lawsuits against Pfizer are consolidated under multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The lawsuit also seeks to recover monetary damages "for the millions of consumers who were tricked into purchasing Zoloft."
A detailed review of medical history and all pertinent records is required to ascertain the injuries caused.
Evidence to be looked for in potential Zoloft cases is as follows:
- Usage of Zoloft and other antidepressants in Pharmacy Records
- Duration of Zoloft usage in pregnant females from Pharmacy Records
- Diagnosis and Treatment of birth anomalies after Zoloft Intake
- Treatment required for birth related defects in child
Medical Record Review and claim validation of Zoloft case should take approximately 1 hour in most instances; however, this approximation may vary in cases based on the volume of records.