Dangerous drugs: Report warns of Zoloft birth defect link

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Dangerous drugs report:  An April 2014 Pfizer Inc. report has revealed that Pfizer executives were warned by a scientist of a possible connection between Zoloft and certain birth defects.  The report advised that the company make changes to the drug’s safety warnings.  Pfizer denies that its drug causes heart defects and maintains that the report was taken out of context by attorneys representing plaintiffs who have sued the company.

Francesca Kolitsopoulous, who was the associate director of Pfizer’s Worldwide Safety Strategy unit, stated in an internal report that she had reviewed studies that demonstrated a link between Zoloft and “cardiac malformations” – specifically septal heart defects.  Her report also indicated that researchers had found a connection between use of Zoloft during pregnancy and omphaloceles, which are birth defects of the abdominal wall resulting in organs and intestines forming outside the abdomen.

Zoloft is an anti-depressant – one of the drugs in a class of prescription medications known as “SSRIs” or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.  Zoloft was once the most prescribed anti-depressant in the United States – in 2005 Zoloft sales brought in approximately $3.3 billion.

More than 1,000 lawsuits are currently pending against manufacturer Pfizer, alleging heart defects in newborns whose mothers used Zoloft during pregnancy. Zoloft is one of several dangerous drugs that has been linked to birth defects.

If your baby was born with a heart defect or omphalocele and Zoloft was used during pregnancy, your child may have a claim.  Contact the Ohio Zoloft attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List.