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Cleft Lip Archives - Carey Danis & Lowe

Zoloft Lawsuit Underscores Parents’ Heartbreak

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Posted March 18, 2012 on LawsuitInformation.org

St. Louis, MO: The recent filing of a Zoloft birth defects lawsuit underscores the pain, heartbreak and frustration evident in the plaintiffs—parents of innocent children who came into the world saddled with life-altering defects allegedly at the behest of the SSRI antidepressant, Zoloft.

It is no secret that antidepressants have been a success for pharmaceutical companies. They also represent important options in the tool belts and treating protocols of psychiatrists and medical doctors, for the treatment of depression.

However, the link between Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and birth defects, such as Zoloft cleft palate, have driven the parents of 18 children suffering from Zoloft defects to the courts.

Reuters reports that the lawsuit filed by plaintiff Shainyah Lancaster et al last month in St. Louis, accuses Zoloft manufacturer Pfizer of suppressing information to the medical community and the public at large as to the risks associated with Zoloft when used by women of childbearing age. The lawsuit further alleges that Pfizer knew or should have known of the existence of SSRI studies, which suggested a greater risk of congenital birth defects in concert with a Zoloft pregnancy.

The Zoloft birth defects lawsuit further alleges that Pfizer was aware that Zoloft was being prescribed to pregnant women by their doctors, but that Pfizer failed to warn the medical community about the risks.

Zoloft has been the center of controversy for some time. Dr. Sidney Wolfe, of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, took Pfizer to task for promoting Zoloft for unapproved uses. In a statement released in October 1996, Wolfe referenced a communiqué directed to Pfizer from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August of that year, chastising Pfizer for promoting Zoloft for use in cardiac patients with depression, amongst other unapproved uses.

More recently, Peter Breggin MD, blogging in the Huffington Post on June 28, 2007, noted the spin that often accompanies the release of data. He noted that headlines and media reports surrounding the release of data from a 2007 study seemed to downplay the risks associated with SSRI drugs—Zoloft among them—even though, according to Breggin, “several severe birth defects were doubled or nearly tripled in frequency when SSRIs were taken in the first trimester. This combined with the other known toxic effects of SSRIs, including brain damage and dysfunction, make these drugs contraindicated in pregnancy.”

One of those defects—Zoloft craniosynostosis—was described in Dr. Breggin’s blog post as “the premature closing of one or more sutures or fibrous joints knitting the bones of the infant’s skull.” He noted that craniosynostosis occurs in about four per 10,000 births according to the National Institutes of Health. “A 2.8 times greater occurrence of this condition will cause 2,305 more US babies to be born each year with this birth defect as a result of their mothers taking SSRIs in the first trimester of pregnancy.”

The particular afflictions of the 18 children who allegedly suffer from Zoloft birth defects were not identified in the news reports. However, regardless of the defect suffered by the Zoloft child—Zoloft PPHN, cleft palate or Zoloft heart defects—it is assumed that their parents are facing a lifetime of stormy seas as the result of having a Zoloft newborn. As Zoloft parents face reality, they equally expect Pfizer to face the music.

Zoloft Side Effects – Birth Defects in Detail

By | Pharmaceutical litigation, Uncategorized, Zoloft

Published April 20, 2012 on LawsuitInformation.org

Side effects from Zoloft, a brand name antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may cause life-altering and potentially life-threatening side effects / birth defects for newborns of women who took the drug during pregnancy. If your child has been harmed, contact Carey Danis & Lowe immediately. We represent hundreds of families that have been affected by Zoloft Birth Defects.

If you are looking for a compassionate law firm that is experienced with defective drugs and the adverse effects of Zoloft, contact us. Our PPHN lawyers are investigating the dangers of this drug and the possible link to the birth defect PPHN (Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns). We are here to answer any questions you may have and help you navigate through the process of filing a Zoloft lawsuit.

ABOUT THE DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS OF ZOLOFT

Newborns exposed to Zoloft and other SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy are at risk of developing several different kinds of side effects (birth defects), including neural tube defects, cleft lip, PPHN side effects, and heart defects. Keep reading to review a complete list of the potentially dangerous side effects caused by Zoloft in newborns.

Neural Tube Defect Side Effects:

Neural tube birth defects affect the brain and spinal cord. Also called cleft spine or open spine, it is the underdevelopment of the fetal spinal column (neural tube). In an embryo, this region begins as a flat surface, and about 28 days after conception, the flat region rolls into a tube. Neural tube defects occur when this tube does not close completely, leaving an opening at the skull or vertebrae. Neural tube defects cause paralysis, incontinence, learning difficulties, loss of sensation in parts of the body, developmental delays, lack of coordination, and lack of concentration.

Omphalocele Side Effects:

An omphalocele is a birth defect caused by underdeveloped abdominal wall muscles that leaves an opening in the midgut. It causes the intestines and other organs, covered only by a thin sac, to protrude outside of this opening. While the problem can typically be corrected with surgery, many newborns with omphalocele will have additional serious side effects, including heart defects. Some of these side effects can be potentially fatal.

Cleft Lip Side Effects:

A cleft lip is a birth defect where the lip does not fuse properly during the early stages of fetal development. This side effect is characterized by a vertical fissure in one or both sides of the upper lip causes a number of difficulties, including problems with feeding, missing or malformed teeth, speech and language delay, chronic ear infections, hearing loss, and socialization.

Cleft Palate Side Effects:

A cleft palate is a birth defect in which the roof of the mouth fails to close completely in utero (at about the 6th to 9th week of pregnancy), and as a result, connects the mouth directly with the nasal cavity. Infants with a cleft palate often struggle with serious complications, including recurring ear infections, hearing loss, feeding difficulties, missing or misaligned teeth, and delays in speech and language development.

Craniosynostosis Side Effects:

Craniosynostosis is a side effect characterized by the premature fusion of an infant’s cranial sutures, the joints between the bones of the skull. The elasticity of the cranium is essential in the skull’s ability to expand in order to accommodate normal brain growth. Because the suture(s) close early, it constricts the growth of the skull (as well as the brain) and results in an abnormally shaped head. Besides irregular appearance, infants with craniosynostosis side effects may also suffer from increased intracranial pressure, seizures, and developmental delays.

Heart Defect Side Effects:

Heart defect side effects involve the structure of the heart or the blood vessels surrounding the heart. It can either obstruct blood flow in the heart or cause irregular blood flow through the heart. While some heart defects are minor and require little to no treatment, others are life-threatening and require immediate medical care in order to avoid severe consequences.

Limb Defect Side Effects:

Congenital limb defects are side effects characterized by the improper formation of an entire limb, or portion of a limb, in utero. Limb defects can involve the hand, arm, foot, leg, toes or fingers, and can present as undergrowth, overgrowth, complete absence, duplication, webbing, or as a constricting band syndrome (premature rupture of the amniotic sac that causes membranes or bands to entangle the fetus, which cuts off blood flow and tissue growth). One of the most common limb defects is club foot, a side effect in which a child is born with one or both feet smaller than normal and internally rotated at the ankle.

PPHN Side Effects:

PPHN, or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, is a side effect that causes high blood pressure in the lungs, which keeps the lungs from relaxing to allow blood to flow through properly. As a result, oxygen does not reach the bloodstream when the child breathes. Even with treatment, an infant with PPHN may continue to receive an insufficient amount of oxygen to his or her vital organs and tissues. This can potentially result in shock, seizures, heart failure, multiple organ failure, and even death.

Anal Atresia Side Effects:

Anal atresia, also referred to as imperforate anus or anal rectal malformation, is a side effect which can cause the following complications: the opening to the rectum does not properly connect to the colon; the rectum may have openings to the urethra, the bladder, the vagina, penis or scrotum; or the anus may be narrowed or missing. Although most infants with anal atresia make a full recovery after surgery, others may continue to suffer from difficulties like bowel control, constipation, and intestinal blockage. Other affected infants may experience additional side effects, particularly those of the genitals, spine or urinary tract.