November 15, 2012 — Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant medication that has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects. Many women who used Zoloft during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer, Pfizer, alleging that the drug company did not adequately warn about the risk of birth defects.
Most of the Zoloft birth defect lawsuits have been centralized in a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, before Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. Lawyers for both sides are currently working together to coordinate the litigation in pre-trial proceedings.
By the October 2012, the following number of Zoloft lawsuits have been filed:
- 245 Zoloft lawsuits in the federal MDL
- 43 Zoloft lawsuits in Missouri
- 17 Zoloft lawsuits in Illinois
- 7 Zoloft lawsuits in New York
Several scientific studies have linked Zoloft to an increased risk of defects of the heart, brain, skull, abdomen, and more. Other studies have found high rates of premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, and more. About 30% of fetuses exposed to SSRIs in the womb show symptoms of distress and withdrawal at birth, including vomiting, irritability, convulsions, feeding problems, and respiratory distress.