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March 22, 2013 / Scott Tillett

New Zoloft Birth Defect Lawsuit Filed in Florida

A Florida couple has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Florida claiming that their son was born with congenital heart defects, which resulted from the mother’s use of Zoloft prior to and during pregnancy.  The mother was taking Zoloft as treatment for post-partum depression she suffered after the birth of her previous child.


Zoloft is a type of antidepressant known as a Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (“SSRI”).  SSRIs work by blocking the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which in turn boosts mood.  Despite being the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, the use of SSRIs during pregnancy has been associated with heart defects in newborns.  In this lawsuit, the plaintiffs’ son was diagnosed with Ventricular Septal Defect and Patent Foramen Ovale shortly after birth.

The complaint alleges that Pfizer was aware of the potential risks for birth defects linked to use of Zoloft by pregnant mothers, but failed to change the product’s label to warn consumers.  The plaintiffs also allege that Pfizer provided misleading information to healthcare professionals by limiting the data they published about Zoloft to only the most favorable evidence regarding the safety and effectiveness of the drug.  Complications such as those experienced by the plaintiffs persist despite the “FDA SSRIadvis[ing] health care professionals

not to alter their current clinical practice of treating depression during pregnancy.”

The parents of the injured child have listed several counts against Pfizer including negligence, product liability, and fraud.  The couple is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of more than $75,000.

If you or someone you know took an SSRI during pregnancy and gave birth to a baby with serious birth defects, you may be entitled to compensation.  Please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.


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