According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Kori Wolcott was prescribed Zoloft for depression during her pregnancy. As the result of her Zoloft pregnancy, it is alleged that Wolcott’s infant son C.W. was born with various Zoloft defects including, but not limited to, severe aortic valve stenosis, an aortic valve disorder consisting of a narrowing of the aorta causing obstruction of blood flow from leaving the heart to the body.
The baby was born in March 2003, and required surgery to enlarge a narrowed heart valve in August of that year. Prior to having surgery, the infant is alleged to have experienced shortness of breath, fainting spells, chest pain and other complications that could lead to potentially fatal heart failure.
According to the Zoloft birth defects lawsuit, the 2003 surgery proved unsuccessful in improving the infant’s prognosis long term. The lawsuit alleges the manufacturer of Zoloft, Pfizer, knew or should have known about the dangers and risks associated with Zoloft to unborn infants during a Zoloft pregnancy, and failed to adequately communicate that concern to consumers and the medical community and consumers at large.
Zoloft was not the first of the so-called new-age antidepressants when selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) first burst onto the market in 1988. But 12 years later, in 2000, Zoloft would overtake Prozac - the first SSRI antidepressant to appear - as the most popular SSRI medication in the US.
Zoloft hasn’t looked back. But a host of potential Zoloft defects continues to cloud the reputation of the drug, and a steady stream of Zoloft and pregnancy lawsuits suggests that an even minimal risk for Zoloft birth defects in children has nonetheless materialized in a Zoloft newborn.
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The latter can be corrected through surgery. However, in most cases, there is external scarring that remains, potentially traumatizing a child, and the expense can devastate some families.
While debate lingers over the value associated with SSRI use by a severely depressed woman during her pregnancy versus the risk to a fetus of Zoloft birth defects, the end result is an ongoing conversation over depression that could prove temporary for the woman, versus the effects on a Zoloft child that can last a lifetime.
Little wonder that plaintiffs will launch a Zoloft and pregnancy lawsuit after coming to realize too late the risks associated with Zoloft use during pregnancy, and the guilt and heartbreak over a Zoloft newborn.