Loni Walter, one among the many unfortunate mothers, from Pennsylvania, has sued Pfizer Inc. for birth defects caused by its anti depression drug Zoloft. The lawsuit has been filed on February 7, 2012. She has filed this lawsuit on behalf of her daughter Alexis Martin. The child has suffered multiple birth defects due to use of Zoloft by her mother. These birth defects include heart abnormalities too.

Zoloft is an antidepressant drug. It has Sertraline as the main active ingredient. Zoloft is manufactured by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. It is also used to treat other diseases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). It belongs to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) group of drugs. Sertraline was first developed in 1970s by Pfizer. Zoloft was presented for FDA approval in 1990 and was approved for many mood and stress related disorders.

There are many lawsuits filed against Pfizer, which blame that the pharmaceutical giant was aware of the birth defects, Zoloft could cause, even then it did not provide enough warning related to it to consumers. They claim the pre-approval animal studies have shown that Zoloft could induce significant harmful side effects to fetuses during pregnancy. These harmful effects also included increased mortality and cardiac malformations.

Pfizer is trying to move all the state cases in the federal court. Most of the cases have been moved to the U.S. district court on ground of diversity. Alex Martin’s case is one of many such cases, which has been filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Many of the cases allege that Pfizer failed to warn consumers about the risks of birth defects associated with taking the popular antidepressant Zoloft during pregnancy.

Zoloft Side Effects caused Heart Problems in the Child

Plaintiff alleges that birth defects including heart abnormalities, which her child suffered is due to use of Zoloft by her. She was prescribed with Zoloft while being pregnant. She was not aware of birth defects caused by the drug Zoloft, as there was no sufficient warning on the drug’s label. She though it to be safe and had it. Later on March 9, 2007, her daughter Alexis Martin was born. She has suffered congenital heart defects. These heart defects included many complications such as coarctation of the aorta, a hole in the left chamber of her heart and a bicuspid aortic valve.

These birth defects hinders blood circulation around heart and could cause kidney problems, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, aortic rupture, coronary artery disease or death later. The plaintiff blames Pfizer of robbing her child a normal life. The child would need medical care and treatment through out the life.

Zoloft has been linked to many birth defects previously. The use of the medicine Zoloft is quite risky for pregnant women as it can easily cross the placental barrier and reach to the unborn child. It could affect the development of unborn child and can cause several birth defects. Some of the Zoloft birth defects are clubfeet, limb deformations, spina bifida, cleft palate, hydrocephalus, congenital birth defects and other related conditions.

The plaintiff blames that Pfizer was aware of dangerous birth defects caused by Zoloft, but hid it from the consumers and thus the plaintiff’s daughter has suffered permanent injuries. Thus plaintiff is seeking punitive damages as well as compensation for pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses and the abnormal life, which the child will lead due to Zoloft.