Were you or a loved one injured as a result of taking Zoloft?

In 1991, the pharmaceutical company Pfizer started marketing Zoloft (sertraline) in the United States as an antidepressant and later a treatment for panic and anxiety disorders. However, recent research has begun to show that some of Zoloft’s side effects are more dangerous than first believed. Goldberg & Osborne wants to help those who have suffered certain of these side effects recover damages that may have been caused by their use of Zoloft.

What is Zoloft and who uses it?

Zoloft (sertraline) is in a category of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Research has yet to clarify exactly how SSRIs work, but it is hypothesized that they boost the brain’s levels of the serotonin. Zoloft is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of adults with major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Doctors may also elect to prescribe Zoloft “off-label” – for uses and populations not approved by the FDA.

Is Zoloft dangerous?

Research indicates that Zoloft may pose higher-than-average risks for:

  • The fetuses of pregnant women,
  • People taking triptans or SNRIs, and
  • Adolescents.

For Pregnant women:

The FDA has classified Zoloft in category C for pregnant women, meaning animal studies indicate it might harm the fetus, but controlled studies in humans do not exist or are not conclusive enough to override the benefit to the mother.

Key Risks to the Fetus Include:

Persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN)
A controlled study released in the February 2006 New England Journal of Medicine found an association between SSRIs such as Zoloft and a rare but very dangerous infant pulmonary disease called persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN). The study concluded that pregnant women who used SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy are six times more at risk of their newborns suffering from PPHN than pregnant mothers who took no antidepressants during pregnancy. Infants with PPHN have very high blood pressure in their lungs, which prevents their organs from receiving enough oxygen. The FDA warns that the condition is “associated with significant morbidity and mortality.”

Septal Heart Defects
Unbeknownst to mothers, septal heart defects, or “holes in the heart”, have been associated with a mother’s SSRI use during pregnancy. A Danish study published in 2009 concluded “There is an increased prevalence of septal heart defects among children whose mothers were prescribed an SSRI in early pregnancy, particularly sertraline (Zoloft) and citalopram (Celexa). The largest association was found for children of women who redeemed prescriptions for more than one type of SSRI.”

Other birth defects associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy include:

  • Right and Left Ventricular Outflow tract obstructions
  • Anorectal Atresia
  • Transverse Limb Defects, where there is a portion of a limb missing
  • Club Foot

Serotonin Syndrome in Adults

The FDA also warns that mixing Zoloft with other medications that increase serotonin levels could cause a potentially fatal effect called serotonin syndrome. The syndrome includes symptoms such as a sudden onset of restlessness, pounding heart, headache, sweating, or goose bumps, sometimes followed by fever, seizures, or unconsciousness. Serotonin syndrome becomes more likely if Zoloft is mixed with SNRIs (like Cymbalta or Effexor) or triptans (like Amerge, Axert, Froxa, or Relpax, among others).

Suicidal Thinking in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults

Antidepressants like Zoloft are also known to cause an increased tendency toward suicidal thoughts and behavior among children, adolescents, and young adults. This risk peaks in the first one or two months after starting a new antidepressant medication.

Have you or a family member suffered from any of the above conditions after taking Zoloft?

If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms or illnesses such as those above after taking Zoloft, you might have a claim against the manufacturer. Goldberg & Osborne’s injury attorneys have experience helping clients understand the complexities of dangerous drug claims. Get in touch with Goldberg & Osborne today at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245), and we will do a free case evaluation. If you prefer, just complete our short and simple online case form here.

Let Us Help You Seek Justice

Email us information about your potential claim, or give us a call 24/7 at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) for a free, no obligation consultation.
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