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Reports from Pfizer show possible links between Zoloft and birth defects

Posted on Friday, June 19th, 2015 at 3:12 pm by Williams Hart   

A document from a Pfizer drug-safety official showed that a scientist already alarmed Pfizer execs last year about the link between its anti-depressant drug Zoloft and birth defects, and proposed some changes to the drug’s safety warning, Bloomberg Business reported on June 9.

Apart from the document, a 1998 paper showed that Pfizer researchers acknowledged several reports of birth defects associated with mothers’ use of Zoloft. These documents will make it even more difficult for the company to ward off lawsuits filed by parents whose children were harmed by the drug.

To date, the pharmaceutical giant has to defend against more than 1,000 claims alleging Zoloft’s risk of newborn abnormalities, such as heart malformation and neural tube defects.

If you believe your baby’s congenital defect has been a result of Zoloft use, a lawyer at Williams Hart is willing to help you understand your legal options in seeking justice and compensation. Call us at (713) 352-7071, and tell us more about your situation.

Increased risk of craniosynostosis with Zoloft use

Posted on Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Williams Hart   

Craniosynostosis is a condition where the bones in an infant’s skull fuses together prematurely causing abnormal cranial formation which may lead to other widespread impairments. This birth defect can be a result of certain genetic disorders, biochemical factors, or environmental agents such as ingesting SSRIs like Zoloft during pregnancy.

Craniosynostosis may cause facial and head deformities that can affect breathing, feeding, and speech. Intercranial pressure as a result of this condition may also cause vision loss, neurobehavioral issues, headaches, and seizures among other problems. Severe cases might require invasive surgery that can be risky and financially costly.

Pregnant women who took the antidepressant Zoloft were found to be at a 2.5 times higher risk of having a child with craniosynostosis. If you are part of a family affected by this condition potentially as a result of an SSRI, contact our attorneys at Williams Hart for information about your legal recourse at (800)220-9341.

The role of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 3:54 pm by Williams Hart   

Neural tube defects (NTDs) are congenital abnormalities affecting the infant’s spinal cord, brain, and spine. Common types of NTDs are anencephaly, spina bifida, and omphalocele. These birth defects are known to develop as a result of both genetic and environmental factors.

Although the precise reason is still not completely understood, taking  folic acid (vitamin b9) during pregnancy has a profound effect on preventing the development of NTDs.

Women of childbearing age are advised by the U.S. Public Health Service to consume 400 mcg (0.4mg) of folic acid every day to lower the risk of NTDs. In fact, a woman taking folic acid daily prior to conception and in early pregnancy can decrease the risk of their child developing an NTD by up to 70%.

Unfortunately, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant drug Zoloft has been known to inhibit the absorption of folic acid in the body, which in turn increases the risk of NTDs. If your baby has been adversely affected by this drug, a lawyer at Williams Hart can help you figure out your eligibility for compensation from the manufacturer. Call our offices today at (713) 352-7071 if you would like to see how we can help you.

Symptoms of ventricular septal defect

Posted on Thursday, June 19th, 2014 at 10:28 am by Williams Hart   

Ventricular septal defect (VSD) occurs when the hole between the left and the right ventricles of an infant fails to close upon birth. This hole would allow the de-oxygenated blood to leak into the chamber that contains oxygen-rich blood, resulting in an inadequate supply of oxygen to the other parts of the body.

Although small septal holes between the ventricles may pose no signs and symptoms, large ventricular septal holes may cause a baby to experience one or more of the following VSD manifestations:

  • Cyanosis, or the purplish/bluish color of the skin, the fingernails, and the lips
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen legs and feet
  • Faster-than-normal heartbeat
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Weakness

Sadly, babies who have been exposed to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Zoloft while in utero have an increased risk of VSD. If your baby has suffered these consequence because of Zoloft, a lawyer at Williams Hart might be able to assist you in pursuing justice and compensation by possibly filing a claim. You may contact us at (713) 352-7071 for a free assessment of your situation.

Zoloft may cause birth defect anencephaly

Posted on Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 at 11:16 am by Williams Hart   

Anencephaly is a type of neural tube defect (NTD) that affects 1 out of 10,000 babies in the country. Derived from the Greek word which literally means ‘having no brain,’ anencephaly refers to the absence of major areas of the brain due to developmental abnormalities in the fetus during the early phases of pregnancy. Babies with anencephaly are either stillborn or die shortly after delivery.

This type of NTD is usually an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. However, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Zoloft has been found to increase the risk of anencephaly among babies exposed to it in utero. Zoloft affects the absorption of folic acid during pregnancy, which is essential in preventing NTDs like anencephaly.

If taking Zoloft has caused you to lose your baby from a fatal NTD such as anencephaly, our team at the Williams Hart law group might be able to help you hold the drug maker accountable for the tragedy. Call us now at (713) 352-7071 to learn more about the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim.

Coarctation of the aorta: known Zoloft side-effect

Posted on Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 at 12:16 pm by Williams Hart   

Zoloft is a popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant designed to treat behavioral disorders such as panic and post traumatic stress disorder. However, this drug is also known to inhibit the proper absorption of folic acid in the mother’s body during pregnancy. Because of this, this drug has been linked to many congenital disorders, including malformation of the heart.

One of the possible complications of Zoloft is coarctation of the aorta, which refers to the narrowing of the aorta responsible for delivering blood from the heart to different parts of the body. This congenital malformation of the heart, if left untreated, may lead to life-threatening health complications, such as rupture of the aorta, cerebral aneurysm, heart attacks, and strokes.

If taking Zoloft while pregnant has caused your baby to suffer from the consequences of a congenital heart malformation, you may be eligible to file a case against the maker of the drug. To learn about your options and how we may assist you, consult an attorney at Williams Hart by calling (713) 352-7071.

Knowing the dangers of colostomy

Posted on Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 at 1:17 pm by Williams Hart   

Colostomy is a major surgical procedure wherein one end of the bowel is brought out through an opening in the abdominal wall, in which a fecal collector is attached. Usually, babies with congenital defects such as imperforate anus require this procedure to prevent further health complications such as infection and sepsis.

But just like any other surgery, colostomy poses health risks that can potentially be life-threatening for babies. These dangers include:

  • Bowel cuts and perforation that might lead to bleeding
  • Infection
  • Damage to other nearby organs
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia
  • Adhesion due to scar tissues

Unfortunately, exposure to the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant Zoloft in utero has been associated with cases of congenital defects that would require babies to undergo such invasive surgical procedure.

If you believe your baby and your family have suffered adversely because of the drug, a lawyer from Williams Hart might be able to help you seek much-needed financial compensation. Call us today at (713) 352-7071 and know your legal options today.

Patent ductus arteriosus and its symptoms in detail

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2014 at 4:48 pm by Williams Hart   

While the fetus develops inside the mother’s womb, the pulmonary artery connects directly to the aorta for blood circulation and oxygen delivery. This normal connection is called ductus arteriosus, which closes hours or days upon birth. However, there are instances when ductus arteriosus fails to close within the specified amount of time, leading to a congenital heart defect called patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

Babies with this congenital heart malformation may experience one or more of these PDA symptoms:

  • Difficulty eating
  • Stunted or poor growth
  • Weakness
  • Bluish-colored skin
  • Too much sweating during activities, such as feeding
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fast heart rate

Zoloft, an anti-depressant that affects the absorption of folic acid, which is essential for the prevention of birth defects, is known to increase the risk of patent ductus arteriosus among babies exposed to it while in their mother’s womb. If your baby has been a victim of this dangerous drug, evaluate your legal options by speaking with a lawyer from Williams Hart. You may reach us anytime at (713) 352-7071.

Clubfoot: an adverse effect of Zoloft

Posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 3:57 pm by Williams Hart   

Zoloft, a popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, has been linked to several birth defects among babies exposed to in utero. This is because Zoloft contains anti-folate properties, which halts the proper absorption of folic acid in pregnant mothers, which increases the risk of congenital malformations, including clubfoot.

In the U.S., clubfoot is considered one of the most common malformations upon birth, occurring in approximately 1 of 1,000 live births. Babies with clubfoot usually have a heel or a foot that is unusually small. The affected foot may also point downward or inward, and may also have an abnormal shape.

Shortly after birth, infants with clubfoot should be treated using a foot cast or brace. Untreated clubfoot may cause babies to suffer from further complications in the future such as decreased mobility and foot sores.

If taking Zoloft while pregnant has caused your baby to develop clubfoot or other birth defects, don’t hesitate to seek legal assistance from our lawyers at Williams Hart. We have years of experience helping families dealing with such problems fight for justice and compensation. Call us now at (713) 352-7071 to discuss what we can possibly do for you.

How does Zoloft work?

Posted on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 at 4:56 pm by Williams Hart   

Zoloft is a popularly-prescribed antidepressant that belongs to a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). SSRIs such as Zoloft are known to affect a chemical in the brain called serotonin – a neurotransmitter that affects certain human behaviors such as aggression and mood.

Since serotonin is a neurotransmitter, it is designed to be absorbed back into the transmitting neuron after it transfers information between different areas of the brain. This process is called ‘reuptake.’ An SSRI inhibits serotonin reuptake, which in turn increases the effects of serotonin in the brain.

Unfortunately, Zoloft is also a known anti-folate; it inhibits proper formation and absorption of folic acid in the body, which is crucial in lowering the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects and heart malformation.

If taking Zoloft while pregnant has caused your baby to suffer from any birth defect, you should consider exploring your options for pursuing justice and financial compensation from its maker. Our lawyers from Williams Hart know what it takes to help families negatively affected by this dangerous drug and may be able to get you the outcome you are seeking. Call us at (713) 352-7071 for a free and comprehensive review of your situation.

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