Some consumers are currently involved in litigation, alleging that birth defects have been caused by Zoloft and other SSRIs. Hundreds of these cases have been grouped together by U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe.
Rufe has scheduled the first of these lawsuits to move forward on on Nov. 3, 2014.
Other SSRIs are sold under various brand and generic drug names such as Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, Celexa and Depakote. The National Institute of Mental Health says SSRIs are the most popular antidepressants prescribed in the United States. The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation said there are 475 Zoloft lawsuits under Judge Rufe in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and she has selected 25 of these cases to serve as bellwether cases.
Among newborns, persistent pulmonary hypertension is among several birth defects potentially caused by SSRIs, identified in a 2006 FDA Public Health Advisory.
Identified in other lawsuits, birth defect allegations also include clubfoot, or deformed feet, omphalocele, craniosynostosis, atrial septal or ventrical septal defects, spina bifida, and more.