Zoloft Lawsuit Settlements Remain Pending
According to a study published in 2006 (Prescrire Int), between 20 and 30 percent of newborns exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs) like Zoloft toward the end of gestation have disorders such as agitation, abnormal muscle tone and suction, seizures, and low sodium levels. Later studies have indicated a higher risk of Zoloft birth defects when the medication is taken in the first trimester, including persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN), heart defects, cranial defects, omphalocele, and abdominal defects.
Many parents have hired a Zoloft lawyer to fight for their rights against the manufacturers of these antidepressants. Have any received Zoloft lawsuit settlements?
Zoloft birth defects and the link to SSRIs
An SSRI antidepressant works by blocking the reuptake of the “feel-good” neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. This leaves more serotonin circulating in the brain, helping to boost mood. SSRIs are used to treat depression, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Besides Zoloft (sertraline), other SSRI antidepressants include Celexa, Lexapro, Prozac, Paxil, and Symbyax. All come with a risk of birth defects like Zoloft birth defects, but they vary slightly in chemical structure, which may affect their potential to cause other side effects like nausea, headache, dry mouth, and insomnia.
Zoloft birth defects compared to other SSRIs
According to an Italian study published in 2009, Zoloft (sertraline) and Lexapro (escitalopram) were named as the most effective treatments for depression, with Zoloft determined to be the best tolerated. A later study, however, showed that women taking Zoloft within the first trimester of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to babies with PPHN. Paxil is also named by the Mayo Clinic as being particularly concerning when it comes to birth defects. The FDA has warned of the risk of birth defects with all SSRIs. More studies are required, however, to determine the risks with each individual drug.
Possibility of Zoloft lawsuit settlements
Many parents have hired a Zoloft lawyer to seek justice for their children who were born with Zoloft birth defects. So far, however, there seems to be no news of any Zoloft lawsuit settlements in these cases.
Manufacturer Pfizer has paid out millions in other Zoloft lawsuit settlements, however, including for Zoloft suicide. The family of comedian Phil Hartman’s wife, who shot herself and her husband when taking Zoloft, received a Zoloft lawsuit settlement out of court. The family of a pre-teen boy who hung himself after taking Zoloft also came to a settlement agreement. Pfizer has even paid the government billions for marketing and promotion violations.
GlaxoSmithKline, who manufacturers Paxil, previously agreed to pay $1 billion to settle more than 800 cases involving claims that Paxil caused birth defects. The settlements averaged in excess of $1.2 million for each family that brought a lawsuit.
Zoloft lawyer likely to blame Pfizer
When a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit eventually goes to court, a Zoloft lawyer is likely to blame Pfizer for failing to adequately research Zoloft side effects and for failing to adequately warn parents about the risks. Though the FDA required updated warnings about Zoloft birth defects in 2006, a Zoloft lawyer may still argue that the manufacturer failed to make sure mothers were well aware of the risks to their unborn children.