Zoloft (sertraline) is a popular antidepressant manufactured by Pfizer Inc. Unfortunately, recent studies have linked Zoloft to a slight increased risk of birth defects when it is taken during pregnancy — especially heart defects and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN).
UPDATE: 2nd Zoloft Birth Defect Trial Ends in Win for Pfizer
June 16, 2015 — For the second time in two months, Pfizer has been cleared of liability in a trial accusing the drug-maker of failing to adequately warn about the birth defect risks associated with taking Zoloft during pregnancy. Click here to read more.
June 8, 2015 — In a trial in Philadelphia, lawyers presented a jury with documents that show scientists warned executives at Pfizer about a possible link between Zoloft and birth defects and recommended changes to the medication’s label. Click here to read more.
June 1, 2015 — A trial is underway in Philadelphia on behalf of a girl who was born with heart defects after her mother took Zoloft during pregnancy. Click here to read more.
April 20, 2015 — A jury in St. Louis has cleared Pfizer of wrongdoing in a trial accusing the drug-maker of boosting profits by downplaying the risk of heart defects when Zoloft is used during pregnancy. Click here to read more.
April 17, 2015 — The first trial involving birth defects linked to Zoloft has ended with closing arguments accusing Pfizer of intentionally concealing warnings about the risk during pregnancy. Click here to read more.
April 9, 2015 — The first of more than 1,000 lawsuits involving Zoloft is currently in trial, and Pfizer is accused of failing to warn women that they should use contraceptives to avoid having a baby with a heart defect. Click here to read more.
January 30, 2015 — A study has linked the use of Zoloft during pregnancy with a 34% increased risk of “hole in the heart” defects and a doubled increased risk of craniosynostosis, a rare but serious skull defect. Click here to read more.
January 9, 2015 — Plaintiffs in over 525 federal Zoloft lawsuits will be allowed to introduce a new expert witness to support claims that Zoloft causes birth defects, after their last expert witness was barred from testifying last year.
July 25, 2014 — The West Virginia Record reports that 13 new lawsuits have been filed against Pfizer Inc. by women who took Zoloft during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect. Click here to read more.
June 19, 2014 — The New England Journal of Medicine has published a study concluding that pregnant women who use antidepressants during the first trimester are not more likely to have a baby with a heart defect. Click here to read more.
April 29, 2014 — The use of high-dose antidepressants in children aged 10-24 has been linked to at least a doubled increased risk of deliberate self-harm (suicidal) behavior, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Click here to read more.
March 6, 2014 — According to a joint status update issued by Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, there are 586 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits pending in the federal MDL and dozens more pending in state court in Alabama, California, Illinois, Missouri, and New York. Click here to read more.
January 14, 2013 — A family from Wisconsin has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their child, who died of birth defects associated with Zoloft. Click here to read more.
December 10, 2012 — The first Zoloft lawsuit has been tentatively scheduled for trial on September 12, 2014. Lawyers will soon decide which cases will be selected for the “bellwether” trials. Click here to read more.
November 15, 2012 — Nearly 70 Zoloft lawsuits have been filed in state courts, and 245 lawsuits in the federal MDL. Click here to read more.
September 5, 2012 — A Zoloft lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a child who was born with clubfoot and a life-threatening heart defect (truncus arteriosus) after her mother took Zoloft during pregnancy. Pfizer now faces nearly 150 Zoloft lawsuits in federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). Click here to learn more.
October 24, 2012 — There are 311 Zoloft lawsuits filed around the United States, including 245 lawsuits in the federal MDL and 66 lawsuits filed in several state courts. Click here to read more.
October 19, 2012 — A new study has linked Prozac to an increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, bleeding in the brain, and stroke. This increased risk could be especially significant for people with risk factors for bleeding, such as those taking blood-thinning medications (like Pradaxa or warfarin). Click here to read more.
Zoloft, an extremely popular antidepressant medication, may be responsible for severe, life-threatening congenital birth defects. In July 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the birth defect risks associated with using antidepressants during pregnancy. The FDA was adamant in it’s warning about the potential complications with women using Zoloft while pregnant. The side effects of Zoloft have been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects in infants whose mothers took the medication while pregnant.
Zoloft Class Action Lawsuit
Pfizer is facing over 600 lawsuits involving Zoloft and birth defects. However, these are not centralized into a Zoloft class action lawsuit. Instead, the majority are centralized in a federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2342) in Pennsylvania. The Zoloft MDL offers some of the same advantages as a class action, such as aggregating a large number of claims into one court, sharing pre-trial discovery, and bellwether trials. However, unlike a class action, each lawsuit is independent and can have its own outcome.