Zoloft (also known generically as sertraline hydrochloride) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug used to treat symptoms of depression. SSRI drugs are effective for the treatment of depression due to their ability to control serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mood. It is approved to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and premenstrual dysphonic disorder.
Pfizer manufactures the drug and initially marketed it as having fewer unpleasant side effects linked to other similar drugs. However, Zoloft may be linked to serious complications, including multiple birth defects suffered by children of mothers who used Zoloft while pregnant. Those affected should consult Zoloft lawyers about their right to file a lawsuit.
Zoloft and Birth Defects
Zoloft may be associated with serious — and sometimes fatal — birth defects in fetuses exposed to the drug. They include persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). In 2006, the FDA cited a case-control study that found infants who were born to mothers who took SSRIs after their 20th week of pregnancy may be six times more likely to suffer from PPHN compared to those whose mothers did not take SSRIs.
The FDA currently classifies Zoloft in pregnancy risk category C. This means that it cannot rule out a heightened risk of taking this drug while pregnant.
Other Complications Associated with Zoloft
All antidepressants, including Zoloft, must carry a black-box warning that the drug may cause increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts in young people younger than the age of 25. This might occur in the first few months of treatment or upon changing dosage.
The FDA also warns of serotonin syndrome, which is a higher level of serotonin in the brain. This might be life-threatening. It can cause problems with coordination, racing heartbeat, blood pressure changes, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, muscle rigidity, and other side effects.
These are just a few of the possible complications of the drug. If you suffered serious complications, Zoloft lawyers can help you explore and pursue legal options to hold the responsible party liable for damages.
Taking Legal Action with Zoloft Lawyers
Many lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer in relation to Zoloft-linked complications including birth defects. Lawsuits claim that proper warnings were not issued and that Pfizer acted negligently in the manufacture and sale of Zoloft. But some may have a valid case against a medical professional who improperly prescribed the drug to patients who were at higher risk of certain side effects.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have valid grounds to pursue legal action. This can allow you to collect damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages associated with use of the drug and resultant injuries.
Get Help from Zoloft Lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates
If you believe you or your child suffers from birth defects related to the use of Zoloft, you are not alone. You may be entitled to compensation by Pfizer under product liability laws or from a medical professional through malpractice laws. Consult Zoloft attorneys who handle these types of cases to help you organize your evidence and documentation and to file a claim.
Gacovino, Lake & Associates believes that people who are impacted by the negligent manufacture, marketing and sale of drugs should be properly reimbursed for all damages and losses. We can help you understand your rights and guide you through the sometimes-complicated legal process. We are available to answer any initial questions you have. Call us today at 800-550-0000 or use our contact page to set up a consultation with our Zoloft attorneys.