Dangerous Drug: Zoloft

Zoloft is a popular antidepressant that falls into the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other well-known SSRIs include Paxil and Prozac.

Zoloft is commonly prescribed to treat depression and may also be prescribed for the following afflictions: 

  • anxiety;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder; and
  • panic disorder.

If it causes injury – whether because of issues in manufacturing, lack of proper warnings, or prescription errors – a Long Island personal injury attorney can go over possible dangerous drug or malpractice lawsuit with individuals affected in New York.

What are some of the drug interactions that can occur with Zoloft?

SSRIs, such as Zoloft, can have serious interactions when taken with other types of medication. One example is monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI). When Zoloft is taken with an MAOI, it could result in serotonin syndrome, which refers to high levels of serotonin in the body.

Serotonin syndrome can result in serious symptoms like: 

  • high blood pressure;
  • hyperthermia;
  • fever;
  • muscle rigidity; and
  • seizures.

There are even more medications that can cause dangerous drug interactions, such as: 

  • antidepressants;
  • pain medicine;
  • seizure medication;
  • Buspirone;
  • Cimetidine;
  • St. John’s wart;
  • Lithium;
  • Digitoxin; and
  • Warfarin.

Patients should go over the medications they are taking with their doctor before taking Zoloft to avoid any dangerous drug interactions.

What are some of the serious side effects of Zoloft?

Some side effects are unpleasant but not serious; for example stomach cramps, insomnia, drowsiness or dizziness. But others could become severe and even life-threatening.

The following are some of the serious side effects associated with Zoloft: 

  • hallucinations;
  • confusion;
  • irregular or rapid heart rate;
  • difficulties with memory;
  • seizures;
  • breathing problems;
  • lack of coordination;
  • stiff muscles;
  • fever;
  • tremors;
  • worsening depression; and
  • thoughts of suicide.

Women who are pregnant or nursing may wish to consult with a doctor about taking Zoloft. The FDA classifies this drug as Category C. Taking it may be associated with lung problems in a newborn, though women may suffer depression symptoms if they stop taking the drug.

Before taking any action, pregnant women should talk to their doctor. If a doctor or other healthcare professional negligently addresses risk or side effects, a Long Island personal injury attorney may help New York claimants explore potential liability.

Can a doctor be liable for injuries caused by Zoloft?

Doctors can sometimes be liable for injuries caused by a drug when it can be proven there was negligence involved. For instance, failing to disclose known side effects of a drug or prescribing the wrong dose may be negligent.

Another example is when a doctor fails to inquire about other medications the patient is taking, which may cause a severe reaction, or if the doctor is aware of other drugs that could cause an adverse reaction but doesn’t take that into consideration before prescribing Zoloft.

If there is the potential for a drug’s toxicity to increase based on other factors—such as certain types of food, alcohol, or supplements—this may also lead to doctor liability if they weren’t discussed. In some cases, a Long Island personal injury attorney may explore liability of a New York pharmacist or pharmacy for injuries caused by a failure to discuss harmful interactions.

Can a drug manufacturer be liable for injuries caused by their product?

There are circumstances in which the manufacturer might be liable for a dangerous drug. One example is when there are known serious side effects but they are not disclosed, or if warning labels are not placed on the product.

Depending on the issue, there may be other parties liable as well: 

  • testing laboratories;
  • hospitals;
  • clinics; and
  • pharmaceutical sales reps may be liable if their negligence leads to a harmful reaction or drug interaction.
Talk to a Long Island Personal Injury Attorney About Filing a Dangerous Drug Claim in New York

Talking to a Long Island personal injury attorney can help injured victims in New York (or the family if there is a loss of life) learn about legal rights in these cases. Gacovino, Lake & Associates offers free consultation to discuss filing a claim when a potentially dangerous drug, such as Zoloft, has caused injury because of another party’s negligence.

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