July 25, 2014 — Pfizer Inc. is facing 13 more lawsuits from women who had a baby with a birth defect after taking Zoloft (sertraline) during pregnancy, according to the West Virginia Record.

Lawsuits were filed on behalf of children with severe birth defects, including atrial septal defect, holes in the heart, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), neural tube defects, craniofacial defects, and more.

The woman accuse Pfizer of concealing risk information linking Zoloft and birth defects. The mothers are seeking damages that occurred as a result of Pfizer’s actions and inactions, including compensatory and punitive damages.

According to the complaints:

“The drug is defective; dangerous to human health; unfit and unsuitable to be marketed and sold; and lacks the proper warnings as to the dangers associated with its use.”

The cases were filed in Wayne Circuit Court on July 7.

Pfizer is currently facing over 600 Zoloft lawsuits in state and federal court. The vast majority have been centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Dozens of lawsuits are also pending in Alabama, California, Illinois, Missouri, and New York.

In the last five years, several studies have linked the use of SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy with a slight increased risk of birth defects. In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that Zoloft was associated with a six-fold increased risk of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), a life-threatening lung defect. Other studies have linked Zoloft and a doubled risk of heart defects, especially “hole in the heart” defects.


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