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Zoloft, birth defects, side effects, lawsuits, suicide

Zoloft, SSRI Antidepressants Side Effects May Lead To Birth & Heart Defects Lawsuits

Zoloft Side Effects Include: Birth Defects, Heart Defects, Lawsuits | Cleft Lip & Palate, Spina Bifida, Neural Tube Defects, Heart Patients

Zoloft & SSRI's Linked To Birth Defects 'Click Here To View' News Article

Birth Defects linked to Zoloft, SSRI Antidepressant usage during Preganancy

Women who take SSRI antidepressants may face a greater chance of having a child with a birth defect. In 2005, a Danish study showed that infants exposed to SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy had a 60% higher probability of developing congenital heart defects when compared with infants whose mothers did not take the drugs. In 2006, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) asked the manufacturers of several SSRI antidepressants to add information to their labels describing the potential risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) after a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found a six-fold increased risk of the disorder among infants born to mothers who took an antidepressant in the later months of pregnancy. Other birth defects that may be linked to SSRI antidepressants include: ventricular outflow defects, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), neural tube defects such as spina bifida and more listed below.

If you have taken Zoloft, and have given birth to a child with a birth defect the defective drug may be to blame. Below is a list of potential birth defects that may be linked to the use of Zoloft:

  • Congenital heart lesions & anomalies
  • Down's syndrome
  • Undescended testes in males
  • Blindness
  • Spina bifida
  • Hernia
  • Malformations
  • Clubfoot (one or both feet turn downward and inward)
  • Septal defects; Cleft lip and/or cleft palate

Zoloft Increases Risk of Suicidal Thoughts

The FDA recently completed a bulk evaluation of 372 studies involving approximately 100,000 patients and 11 antidepressants, including Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac and Paxil. When the results are analyzed by age, it becomes clear there is an elevated risk for suicidal thoughts and behavior among adults 18 to 25 that approaches that seen in children, the FDA said in documents released before their scheduled December 13, 2006 meeting of its psychopharmacologic drugs advisory committee.

In May 2006, GlaxoSmithKline and the FDA cautioned Paxil may also raise the risk of suicidal behavior in young adults and changed the drug’s label to reflect that risk. The FDA has recently urged the makers of Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants to add a warning about suicidal behavior. The FDA stated that patients using Zoloft and other antidepressants should be watched closely for suicidal tendencies. The FDA advisory panel suggested the new warnings after an emotional hearing with testimony from the parents of children and teenagers who attempted suicide or took their own lives after starting antidepressants. The expanded warnings on antidepressant labels advise health-care providers to "carefully monitor patients receiving antidepressants for possible worsening of depression or suicide ideation, especially at the beginning of therapy or when the dose either decreases or increases.

SSRI Antidepressant linked to Suicide Risk

Zoloft belongs to a newer class of antidepressants called SSRIs, or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. A British study found an increase in suicide attempts among children taking antidepressants versus those taking sugar pills. The U.S. surgeon general estimates there are 30,000 suicides every year in the United States. According to researchers with Columbia University, 10 percent of all youth suffer from depression, and 1,883 children ages 10 to 19 years old killed themselves in 2001.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) Antidepressant Risk in Heart Disease Patients

A study has linked SSRI Antidepressants to an increased risk of death amongst patients with coronary artery disease. This study, conducted at Duke University, analyzed the survival rate of heart disease patients using antidepressants compared with those not using these drugs.  During an average of three years of follow-up, 21.4% of the patients taking antidepressants died compared with 12.5% of those not on antidepressants. After adjusting for demographic factors, cardiac risk factors, scores on the Beck Depression Inventory test, and the presence of other illness, antidepressant use was an independent risk factor for mortality, increasing the risk by 62%. Researchers do not fully understand why antidepressants increase the risk of mortality in these patients. However, their findings are statistically significant and show that these drugs do increase the risk of death in heart disease patients. Current and former heart disease patients should weigh the risks and benefits of antidepressants before using these medications.

Legal Help For Victims Affected By Zoloft

If you or a loved one took Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants and suffered any of the side effects mentioned here, please fill out the form at the right for a Free case evaluation by a qualified defective drug attorney at Parker Waichman LLP or call us anytime at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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Potential Link between Zoloft and Birth Defects Identified in Pfizer Report

Jun 10, 2015
A Pfizer report warning that Zoloft may be linked to birth defects may make it more difficult for the pharmaceutical company to dodge litigation, Bloomberg reports. The April 2014 document shows that Francesca Kolitsopoulous, who was an associate director in Pfizer's Worldwide Safety Strategy unit's epidemiology, reviewed studies and found that the antidepressant was linked to "cardiac malformations, which could be causal." There are over 1,000 lawsuits filed on behalf of individuals who allege...

Zoloft Was Among Top Selling Drugs in 2011

Sep 21, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
Zoloft was among the most prescribed drugs in the U.S. last year, this despite many concerns about its ability as an effective antidepressant drug and its link to dangerous side effects.According to a report this week from Houston Business Journal, Pfizer’s Zoloft and Xanax were among the best-selling drugs in 2011. The cholesterol drug Lipitor topped the list, generating $7.7 billion in revenue. These statistics were made available in the most recent edition of the journal ACS Chemical...

SSRI Antidepressant Patients Admitted to ICU Have Higher Death Rates

May 23, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
Yet another study is raising questions about the use of certain antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants.  This time, research indicates that ICU patients who took SSRI antidepressants prior to admission have a higher rate of mortality, both while in the hospital and during the year after their hospital stay."Major depression is a common disorder affecting more than 16 percent of adults in the United States, and SSRI's are the most commonly...

More Harm than Good from SSRI, Other Antidepressants, Study Finds

Apr 26, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
A group of Canadian researchers says the risks of antidepressants - including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants - outweigh their benefits.  In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, the researchers conclude that the antidepressants are probably doing more harm than good, and use of the drugs should be reconsidered.The study, a review previous research into the effects of antidepressants conducted by scientists at McMaster University in Canada,...

SSRI Antidepressants May Influence Fetal Head Development

Mar 6, 2012 | Parker Waichman LLP
A new study published this week online in the Archives of General Psychiatry has found a possible link between selective serotonin inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants and small fetal head growth, as well as preterm birth.  The study, conducted by researchers at Sophia Children's Hospital and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is just the latest to provide evidence that using SSRI antidepressants, such as Prozac, Lexapro, Celexa, Paxil and Zoloft, during pregnancy, can...

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