More birth defects lawsuits filed against Zoloft makers

More lawsuits have been filed against drug maker Pfizer by women who claim that the company hid information that showed using the antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy could cause birth defects. The class action lawsuit was filed in St. Louis Circuit Court against Pfizer.

The women claim they were prescribed Zoloft during their pregnancies despite the alleged risks to their unborn children. The woman say their children were later born with several birth defects, including damage to their hearts.

Zoloft is in a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Other brand name medications in this class include Paxil, Celexa, Lexapro and Prozac. Last year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that using Paxil during pregnancy had been associated with birth defects, in particular a defect known as persistent pulmonary hypertension, or PPHN. The condition is life threatening.

More evidence suggests that other drugs in this class may be just as dangerous for developing fetuses, including Zoloft. But some allege that drug companies who are privy to this data often cover it up so as not to dampen profits.

The class action lawsuit filed in St. Louis accuses Pfizer of negligence, fraud, failing to warn the public, and unjust enrichment. The women are asking for more than $200,000 in actual damages, along with punitive damages and court costs.


PAXIL and PAXIL CR are registered trademarks of GlaxoSmithKline. ZOLOFT is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. Celexa® is a registered trademark of Forest Labs. Lexapro® is a registered trademark of Forest Labs. PROZAC®is a registered trademark of Eli Lily and Company.

Source: Madison Record