In 2003, a Florida woman suffered post-partum depression. Her doctor prescribed Zoloft, which she continued to take through to the end of her second pregnancy. Unfortunately, her son was born in 2004 with a serious heart defect.
A link between Zoloft and birth defects has been established all over the world with Pfizer, the manufacturer of Zoloft, settling legal claims as far away as Sweden. In the United States however, the FDA has taken no action against the drug and doctors still actively prescribe it.
As birth defects surface, Florida birth defect attorneys will possibly see more Zoloft claims. Cases arise already in other states. The first Zoloft-related trial is scheduled for October 2014 in Pennsylvania.
Attorney Group for Florida investigates this trend and will inform consumers of their legal options if contacted by victims. Florida Zoloft birth defect attorneys are prepared to address any legal questions consumers may have after reviewing this basic material.
Zoloft: Function and Effects
Zoloft, generic name sertraline, belongs to the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs. SSRIs treat depression and anxiety disorders by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain. Side effects are normally mild and include nausea, dizziness, dry mouth, decreased appetite and digestive issues.
Zoloft and Birth Defects
Florida Zoloft birth defect attorneys note that Zoloft is considered very effective with milder side effects than other anti-depressants. Unfortunately, it appears the side effects are not always mild. New studies link the drug to birth defects. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that taking Zoloft in the first few months of pregnancy doubles the risk of heart defects in the fetus. The heart defects in question normally occur in 5 in 10,000 babies however if the mother takes Zoloft in those crucial early months, the risk increases to 10 in 10,000.
These conditions include:
- Septal heart defects: holes in the tissue that separate the chambers of the heart
- Anencephaly: portions of the skull and/or brain missing at birth
- Omphalocele: one or more abdominal organs outside the body at birth
- Anal atresia: anus not present or in the wrong place
- Limb reductions: limbs are missing or deformed
- Club foot: foot deformity that causes walking difficulties
Florida Zoloft birth defect attorneys see other heart defects linked to Zoloft including: hypoplastic left heart syndrome, tetralogy of fallot, pulmonary atresia and transposition of the great vessels. The risk increases twofold with SSRIs usage. These defects lower oxygen in the blood and increase the risk of heart attack, slow growth and bleeding conditions. Treatment for many of these conditions includes extensive surgery, which can cripple parents with medical debt. Florida Zoloft birth defect attorneys want to help victim find out if they qualify for possible compensation.
Florida Zoloft Birth Defect Attorneys
Manufacturing defective products and failing to warn consumers of known risks is actionable under Florida law. Women taking Zoloft during pregnancy, who later have children born with birth defects, may have a claim to compensation if a link between Zoloft and birth defects is established. Compensation may be possible for medical expenses, wage loss from attending to a child’s treatment and non-economic damages such as emotional pain and suffering.
The Attorney Group for Florida wants to help. The affiliated Florida birth defect attorneys may be able to help you seek compensation for all that you’ve been through. Contact Attorney Group for Florida today for answers to your legal questions or to find out if you may have a claim.