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A Lawsuit Alleging Birth Defects From Zoloft is Filed in Pennsylvania

On September 10, 2012, a new lawsuit alleging birth defects from the use of Zoloft while pregnant was filed on behalf of ten plaintiffs by Zoloft attorneys. The case, Lentz et. Al. v. Pfizer Inc., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and alleges that the antidepressant Zoloft (sertraline) is responsible for the birth defects in their children.

This lawsuit joins the increasing number of plaintiffs who are seeking compensation for the alleged problems as a result of the medication.

Pfizer is accused of knowing of the risk of birth defects and failing to alert the public

The lawsuit alleges that Pfizer knew of the possibility of birth defects from preclinical and published studies and took no action to properly study the drug and its aftereffects. In addition, they chose not to publish these studies due to the revelation of increased risks with the drug. The manufacturer is accused of concealing, suppressing the results, and failing to warn consumers of the potential dangers. Pfizer continues to deny these accusations.

Many side effects from Zoloft can affect the heart, the gastrointestinal system, and cranial malformations

The children were born between 1998 and 2011. A correlation was demonstrated in studies between 2007 and 2009 that indicated the increased risk of birth defects when women take Zoloft while pregnant, but the plaintiffs were unaware of these studies. The plaintiffs claim that if they’d known of the risks, they never would have taken the drug.

Some of the side effects resulting from Zoloft use described in the lawsuit include gastrointestinal problems such as anteriorly displaced anus and omphalocele; heart defects such as right-sided aortic arch, patent ductus arteriosus, cleft mitral valve, transposition of the great arteries, atrial and ventrical septal defects, anomalous pulmonary venous return, and aotrtic stenosis; and craniofacial malformations such as cleft lip and palate, and multiple-suture craniosynostosis.

Pfizer’s safety information posted online doesn’t mention birth defects

On their website, Pfizer has posted “Important Safety Information” about possible complications of Zoloft, but doesn’t specifically mention birth defects. The site does state that “[w]omen who are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should not take any antidepressant without consulting their doctor,” but to date doesn’t acknowledge any risk of birth defects, nor does it indicate that Zoloft poses any risk to a pregnancy that other antidepressants don’t also pose.

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