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Zoloft® Antidepressant Medication

Zoloft® is one of the most widely used antidepressants on the market today. It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), so it shares many of the risks associated with taking a SSRI. Severe risks associated with most SSRSIs include developing serotonin syndrome, the occurrence of suicidal thoughts, and the potential for birth defects if a pregnant mother takes Zoloft®. Find out more by reading our Antidepressants page.

Zoloft® also has some unique health risks of its own. For example, some of those who have sued Zoloft® assert that the drug does not work as intended. Instead, these patients suffer the negative side effects of Zoloft® without receiving any benefits. For some patients, Zoloft® may increase violent behaviors. In fact, Zoloft® has even been blamed for homicides when carried out by children.

Although most side effects associated with Zoloft® are relatively mild, some serious and life-threatening side effects may also occur. The most common Zoloft® side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased sweating
  • Diarrhea/upset stomach
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness

Although these side effects may not be very pleasant, they will usually subside after a short time. If, however, these side effects continue for several days or weeks, you should speak with your doctor. Perhaps Zoloft® is not the right medication to treat your depression, anxiety, or mood disorder.

You should talk to your doctor right away if you experience any of these more severe side effects:

  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Decrease in sexual ability (particularly in males)
  • Shaking or tremors
  • Weight loss
  • Muscle cramps or weakness
  • Easy bruising or bleeding

You should also visit the emergency room if you notice any of the following side effects.

  • Eye pain or vision changes
  • Vomit that looks like coffee grounds
  • Black or bloody stools
  • An erection lasting more than four hours
  • Symptoms of an allergic reaction

A study in December 2015 indicated that mothers who took Zoloft® and other similar antidepressants are more likely to give birth to children who have autism. Zoloft®, Paxil, and Prozac were specifically targeted in this particular study. The study points out that those who took these medications in the second and third trimesters in particular were more likely to have children with autism.

Scientists and researchers are unsure why medications like Zoloft® may increase occurrences of autism. For example, women who continue to take antidepressants during pregnancy may be more depressed than those who do not take them, in which case, the depression may be the issue and not the medication. Experts still infer that it is a judgment call for many doctors whether to recommend that women continue to take Zoloft® after becoming pregnant.

Zoloft® is also associated with the following birth defects:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • Spina bifida
  • Hernia
  • Malformations (generally)
  • Clubfoot
  • Cleft lip or cleft palate
  • Congenital heart lesions and anomalies
  • Undescended testes
  • Blindness
  • Septal heart defects

If you took Zoloft® during your pregnancy and your child suffered any type of birth defect, you may want to speak with a drug and birth injury attorney to discuss whether you may have any legal options.

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Zoloft® Lawsuits

There have been over 250 lawsuits filed regarding Zoloft®. Each case is slightly different because of the unique way that Zoloft® affects individuals. Many of these cases involve birth defects, but they may also involve situations based on violence, mental instability, or other side effects common to most SSRIs.

Zoloft® lawsuits generally concentrate on the failure to warn patients and doctors of the likelihood of potential damage after taking Zoloft®. Mothers argue that if they would have been fully informed about the risk Zoloft® posed to their baby, they would not have taken the drug. Instead, mothers could not have made a fully informed decision because they did not completely understand the risks.

Other cases accuse Zoloft® of engaging in false advertising. These victims stated that Zoloft®’s marketing led them to believe that Zoloft® was more effective than it actually was. Specifically, these victims point to studies that indicate that Zoloft® did not work as well as the manufacturer, Pfizer, claimed that it did. These studies suggested that Zoloft® did not work any better than a placebo.

It can be difficult to determine whether Zoloft® caused specific problems with you or your baby’s health. However, you cannot really know whether you have a legal solution unless you speak with a qualified attorney. You owe it to yourself, and to your baby, to determine what your legal options may be. Call Hughes & Coleman today to set up a free case evaluation.

Cases likely to be referred.

Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor.  Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury or death.

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