Zoloft Heart Defects Subject of Another Lawsuit
A recent lawsuit involving Zoloft heart defects alleges that Pfizer knew of the risks even as sales of the drug to women of childbearing years continued to grow. The plaintiff in this Zoloft side effects lawsuit claims her use of the antidepressant during pregnancy led to serious birth defects in her newborn, which the child continues to deal with to this day.
Multiple Zoloft heart defects listed in lawsuit complaint
In this recent lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on July 19, 2012, the plaintiffs, Jade and Jason Byington, claim that their daughter Sadie was born with multiple Zoloft heart defects.
Shortly after her birth on October 14, 2003, the complaint states that Sadie was diagnosed with an atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect and coarctation of the aorta. Since her birth, Sadie Byington has been subjected to ongoing medical care and monitoring and has been “deprived of living a normal childhood and life.”
The complaint also asserts that despite the knowledge of serious heart defects like Sadie’s, the manufacturer of the antidepressant Pfizer continues to market the drug to women of childbearing age and has not informed these women of the risks of Zoloft side effects. In fact, by 2005, the drug had become the most prescribed antidepressant on the U.S. market, with nearly 27 million prescriptions dispensed and around $3.3 billion in sales.
FDA warning about Zoloft side effects issued too late
In 2005, the FDA issued a warning regarding Zoloft birth defects, stating that use of some SSRIs like Zoloft during the first three months of pregnancy could increase the risk of heart problems. This particular warning included two specific types of Zoloft heart defects: atrial septal defects, and ventricular septal defects.
A warning regarding persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, also known as Zoloft PPHN, was also issued the following year. These warnings came long after the Byingtons experienced firsthand Zoloft heart defects in their own daughter.
Atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects involve holes in the walls that separate the chambers of the heart. Atrial septal defects involve opening in the wall between the upper chambers, while ventricular septal defects involve the lower chambers.
Zoloft PPHN is a condition where the blood circulation of the newborn reverts to fetal circulation, where most of the blood flow bypasses the lungs. This results in abnormally high blood pressure in the infant, which can be a dangerous situation if it is not quickly addressed and properly treated.
Zoloft injuries result in ongoing medical care
In this Zoloft lawsuit, the plaintiffs and parents of the injured child state that Zoloft side effects have resulted in the need for ongoing medical care for their daughter and emotional and economic loss for themselves. The plaintiffs are demanding compensatory and punitive damages.