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Zoloft Litigation Seeks Compensation for Plaintiff’s Birth Defects

On June 19, 2012, Tyreke Reese filed Zoloft litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Missouri. The plaintiff alleges that she suffers from congenital heart defects caused by her mother’s Zoloft use during her pregnancy with Reese. The plaintiff claims that her birth defects from Zoloft, specifically an atrial septal defect, have caused her substantial complications throughout her life. Atrial septal defect is characterized by a hole in the wall that separates the upper chambers of the heart; the condition has required Plaintiff Reese to undergo surgery and submit to extensive treatment and medical monitoring.

Pfizer fails to warn public of birth defects from Zoloft

Among her complaints, Reese states that Pfizer, the drug’s manufacturer, knew or should have known of the potential side effects of Zoloft during pregnancy, including the potential risks to a fetus. As evidence to her claim, Reese’s Zoloft attorney presented records from a study that showed birth defects from Zoloft in nonhuman mammalian species. Despite this information, Pfizer continues to manufacture and market the anti-depressant, and as of 2012 fails to warn consumers and the medical community that Zoloft can significantly increase a baby’s risk of heart malformations and other birth defects. Furthermore, Reese claims that, had her mother known of the risks associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy, she would never have taken the medication.

Birth defects include PPHN and heart problems from Zoloft

Zoloft, or sertraline, is an anti-depressant medication in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug class. The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug in 1991 as a treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD), and over the last 21 years, Zoloft has also been approved for other uses. During that time, some studies have concluded that medications in the SSRI drug class may increase the risk of birth defects such as persistent pulmonary hypertension, craniosynostosis, clubfoot, and heart problems from Zoloft.

Zoloft litigation mirrors other SSRI lawsuits

Like Reese, many other injured parties have filed Zoloft litigation alleging birth defects. Additionally, other prescription medications in the SSRI drug class have also been identified as the cause of alleged birth defects. As a result, manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline has already paid more than $1 billion in compensation to Paxil patients, who assert that the drug caused birth defects similar to those reported by Zoloft users.

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