Attorneys for Zoloft Lawsuits
Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) is one of the leading antidepressants on the market. Sertraline was first introduced by Pfizer in 1991 and was the most prescribed antidepressant in the U.S. in 2007. Zoloft is a widely used antidepressant medication that has been on the U.S. market since the early 1990s. The pharmaceutical is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic attacks, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. However, Zoloft has also been associated with numerous harmful side effects—including life-threatening birth defects when consumed by pregnant women.
Along with its counterparts, Paxil and Prozac, Zoloft is officially classified as an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). These medications play on the levels of serotonin produced in a person's brain by preventing serotonin, a neurotransmitter, from being reabsorbed in the brain, which creates a chemical imbalance that can help to improve one's mood. This is primarily because serotonin is helpful in mood regulation; however, the brain chemical also contributes to a person's digestive abilities, as well as their sleep, pain, and mental functioning.
If you need a lawyer regarding your injuries from Zoloft, contact Arnold & Itkin. We have secured billions of dollars, including a record-setting $76.6 million verdict against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson.
Common Side Effects Associated with Zoloft
Some of the most common side effects associated with Zoloft are nausea, delayed ejaculation, shakiness, increased sweating, lack of appetite, and reduced sexual desire. These side effects were seen in at least 5% of patients and were at least twice as high as the control group. Nausea is the most common, occurring in 25% of patients.
- Zoloft & Children: Zoloft is not approved for pediatric use, except for patients with OCD. The antidepressant is generally not recommended for use in adolescents and children as it has been seen that young patients are at a greater risk of experiencing such side effects as thoughts of suicide, mania, and aggression.
- Zoloft & Pregnancy: One of the most serious risks associated with Zoloft occurs when pregnant women take the antidepressant. Taking Zoloft, particularly during the last half of pregnancy, may lead to birth defects. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), cleft lip, heart defects, neural tube defects, clubfoot, atresia, and cranial birth defects may all be associated with Zoloft.
Adverse Zoloft Side Effects: Birth Defects
Since 2006, the FDA has warned of serious birth defects that have been discovered after women consumed Zoloft during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, including those that impact the healthy development of the infant:
- Atrial Septal Defect: A defect in the interatrial septum in the heart allows the dangerous mixing of oxygen-rich blood from the left side of the heart and oxygen-deficient blood from the right side.
- Tetralogy of Fallot: A disruption of blood flow through the pulmonary valve of the heart leads to low oxygenation of blood, resulting in symptoms that include feeding difficulty, inability to gain weight, stunted physical development, clubbing of toes and fingers, and—in the worst cases—hypoxic brain injury and death.
- Transposition of the Great Vessels: A condition that involves abnormal spacing of the primary blood vessels, which may lead to changes in blood pressure and trigger other congenital birth defects, including atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus.
- Hypoplastic Heart Syndrome: Either the left or right side of the heart is underdeveloped, which can affect the infant's skin, lips, fingernails, and other parts of the body.
- Craniosynostosis: Sutures prematurely close, leading to problems with normal brain and skull growth. The three most common forms of are craniosynostosis are the following: plagiocephaly (stunted growth of the brow and forehead); trigonocephaly (causing a marked ridge to run down the forehead); and scaphocephaly (causing a long, narrow skull to develop).
- Omphalocele: A child's abdominal organs stick out of the navel, including intestines, liver and spleen.
- Anal Atresia: An infant is born without an anus or with an anus or rectum that is blocked or closed.
- Neural Tube Defects: Birth defects that affect the brain and spinal cord and occur when the embryonic neural tube of an embryo fails to close completely. This may lead to physical and/or mental disabilities.
These potential Zoloft-related side effects may require expensive medical treatment, including open-heart surgery, as well as ongoing medication and therapy. The child may suffer disfigurement and health problems throughout life, exacting a significant if not devastating physical, emotional, and financial toll on parents and other family members.
Zoloft & Clubfoot
One of the defects tied to Zoloft use during pregnancy is club foot. Club foot is a birth defect involving one or both feet; the affected appendages rotate internally at the ankle.
Club foot can be classified in one of three ways:
- Inversion at the subtalar joint - The meeting point on the foot of the ankle bone and the heel bone)
- Adduction of the foot at the talonavicular joint - Inward movement of the foot beginning on the foot's top side
- Equinus and varus at the ankle joint, resulting in a plantar flexed position that causes toe walking
Club foot used to be treated surgically, but many families are now opting to treat the condition non-surgically. One of the newest forms of treatment for club foot is to use injections of Botox to create weakness in the foot, allowing it to be manipulated into a more natural position. Over time, the weakness wears off, but the foot stays in position.
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At Arnold & Itkin, we believe in protecting the rights of patients who have been harmed as the result of Zoloft-related difficulties, even though it may pit us against a large pharmaceutical company. We exhaustively research and investigate every case, including consulting with qualified medical experts. By investing our resources, hard work, and dedication, we're confident in our ability to deliver successful results – whether it's a settlement at the negotiating table or a verdict in the courtroom. Our attorneys have tried cases in state and federal courts across the country, including several cases in which they have served on the steering committees in complex, multi-district litigation.
Birth defects from Zoloft and other antidepressants are sensitive issues and they should not be addressed without the legal advice and support of a professional. Arnold & Itkin LLP can help you attend to the legal complications that have come about from Zoloft enhanced birth defects or Zoloft side effects. Whether you want to settle your case in or out of court, our experience has prepared us for whatever your needs may be. Antidepressants are meant to help the lives of those who may be emotionally struggling, not further add to one's distress. If you have been wrongfully harmed by taking the medications prescribed to you then do not hesitate to take legal action.
Call for a free case consultation. Let's discuss your options and the best way to provide for you.