The Zoloft Lawsuit Center provides information about the SSRI antidepressant Zoloft, its link to birth defects and the serious side effects it causes.

SSRIs Can Cause Side Effects, Some Severe

Antidepressants have been around since the 1950s, when scientists discovered that certain drugs can affect neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals that alter mood and other sensations. These early drugs, however, produced extreme side effects such as overdose death that made them impractical for widespread use.

Applying what they learned about the effects of certain drugs on brain chemicals, however, scientists were able to formulate a new class of antidepressants that targeted a single neurotransmitter, serotonin.

So-called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) were found to produce fewer side effects and became available to the public in 1987 with the release of Prozac. Since then, numerous SSRI antidepressants have been introduced, including Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) in 1991 and Paxil (paroxetine) in 1992.

Although generally safe, SSRIs are still known to cause harm to users and unborn children. This page provides more information about how drugs like Zoloft work and the potential side effects that should be heeded.

How SSRIs Work

Approximately 1 out of 10 Americans take an antidepressant, of which SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed. Zoloft and other SSRI drugs relieve moderate to severe depression by regulating levels of serotonin—a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of well-being—in the brain. With stable serotonin levels comes the easing of depression symptoms and a more balanced mood.

Potential SSRI Side Effects

SSRIs, though safer than other types of antidepressants, are not without risk. While some potential side effects are shared by all SSRIs, Zoloft appears to be more strongly associated with certain problems.

In general, SSRI antidepressants are known to produce minor side effects such as drowsiness, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, nervousness, dry mouth, and sexual dysfunction.

More serious SSRI side effects include the risk of increased suicidal thoughts and behavior, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandates all SSRIs to carry warnings for, and birth defects. The most serious birth defects associated with SSRIs are congenital heart defects, including septal heart defects. According to a 2007 study in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who take Zoloft during pregnancy are more likely than users of other SSRIs to give birth to a child with a septal heart defect. SSRIs have also been linked to a potentially fatal condition called Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). Finally, a 2010 Canadian study lends evidence to the claim that SSRI drugs can cause miscarriage.

If you are currently taking Zoloft, or plan on beginning a regimen, be sure to discuss the drug’s potential health problems with your healthcare professional. Patients who experienced an injury while on Zoloft, however, or suspect that the drug harmed their child, should speak with a legal professional.

RLG’s Experienced Lawyers Can Help

Sometimes, drug manufacturers such as Pfizer aren’t forthcoming about the potential side effects of their products. When this results in injury, drug users may choose to seek compensation for their losses through litigation. To find out whether you qualify for a lawsuit against Pfizer, contact the Rottenstein Law Group, a firm with more than 25 collective years of experience in products liability, by completing this form or calling…

Find Out More: Download RLG’s Free Zoloft Brochure

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