Many Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, like Zoloft have prompted a class action lawsuit from many patients who have taken the medication. The generic name for Zoloft is sertraline. This drug is a popular method of treatment for people suffering from various mood and behavioral disorders. Such disorders include depression, panic disorder, social phobia, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Like most other SSRIs, Zoloft is only effective in some patients, though it has been heavily marketed to patients and doctors in general. This has caused a lot of problems because sertraline can have severe and permanent adverse reactions.
All SSRIs work by binding to serotonin uptake systems in the brain. The only major difference between the various SSRI medications is which serotonin transporter the drug binds to. After binding, the medication prevents neurons from reuptaking serotonin. This increases the concentration of serotonin in the brain, which can have a positive effect on mood and behavior. Sertraline is particularly effective at inhibiting its serotonin transport by up to ninety percent after just four weeks of regular therapy. Sertraline also inhibits the uptake of dopamine, which can also alter the mood of the patient. However, sertraline is much less effective at this, and it is considered a weak secondary effect.
Many patients have opted into a Zoloft class action lawsuit after suffering from a major health complication from usage of the drug. Serotonin is not just important in regulating some mood and behavior functions; it has a widespread effect on the body that is often difficult to both predict and treat. These widespread effects range from various forms of mental disturbances to fatal skin reactions. However, most of the controversy surrounding these drugs has to do with their propensity to cause birth defects.
In recent years, several studies have shown that SSRIs like sertraline are capable of causing severe, possibly fatal, birth defects. As of now, the FDA has placed sertraline in the Pregnancy Category C. Drugs in this category have clearly shown harmful effects in animal fetuses, though research in humans is not complete. The early returns suggest that sertraline will eventually be moved to a more restrictive category. Unfortunately, since sertraline currently resides in the Pregnancy Category C, Pfizer is not required to warn pregnant women about the medication’s risks during pregnancy. This has led to many women taking sertraline without realizing the harm it could be doing to their unborn child.
Birth effects caused by sertraline include atrial septal defects (flaws in the tissue dividing the heart chambers), anal atresia (anus not located in the proper area), club foot, limb length or shape disorders, omphalocele (organs normally located in the abdominal cavity are instead found outside the body), and anencephaly (a fatal complication that causes parts of the skull or brain not to form). These complications are often fatal, but those that are not fatal will require extensive surgery to correct. This can be painful, stressful, expensive, and stunt the child’s development.
For this reason, many parents are joining a Zoloft class action lawsuit to seek justice for their children. To find out whether or not a claim is available to join, consider speaking with a personal injury attorney for guidance. Drug injury attorneys are able to provide guidance to families in this situation, and initial consultations are normally free.