Zoloft Birth Defect Attorneys | Houston, TX Lawyers

Zoloft Birth Defect Lawyers

Zoloft linked to dangerous heart and other birth defects.

Zoloft, a widely-used antidepressant and anxiety medication, was approved for sale in the United States by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) in 1991. A number of studies have recently emerged linking Zoloft with an increased risk of birth defects in mothers who took the drug during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Specific defects associated with Zoloft include severe congenital heart defects (Hypoplastic left and right heart, Tetralogy of Fallot, Transposition of the Arteries, Coarctation of Aorta, and ventricular and atrial septal defects), right and left ventricular outflow tract obstructions, abdominal defects (omphalocele), and cranial defects (craniosynostosis).

The attorneys at Zehl & Associates have experience representing families from across the country against some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.

For example, our Personal Injury Attorneys recently negotiated a highly favorable settlement with GlaxoSmithKline on behalf of over 100 mothers who gave birth to children with severe heart and other birth defects as a result of their use of the drug Paxil during pregnancy.

Why is Zoloft Dangerous?

Since its introduction to the U.S. market nearly 20 years ago, Zoloft, known generically as sertraline, has been regularly prescribed to pregnant women and women of child bearing age for anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that pregnant women who take Zoloft, or other Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants like Celexa, Lexapro, Paxil and Prozac, while pregnant are at a substantially increased risk of giving birth to a child with a serious heart or other defect.

For example, in a June 28, 2007 study printed in The New England Journal of Medicine, doctors observed a significant association between sertraline (Zoloft) and the development of omphalocele and septal heart defects. Researchers noted as much as a 100% increase in the occurrence of septal defects, right ventricular outflow tract obstructions (e.g. Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome, Pulmonary Atresia, Pulmonary Valve Stenosis, Tetralogy of Fallot etc.) and left ventricular outflow tract obstructions (e.g. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Mitral Stenosis, Coarctation of the Aorta, Aortic Valve Stenosis, etc.) in mothers who took the drug during pregnancy.

Birth Defects Associated with Zoloft

  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN);
  • Congenital Heart Defects;
  • Atrial Septal Defects (ASD);
  • Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD);
  • Pulmonary Atresia;
  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis;
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis;
  • Biscuspid Aortic Valve;
  • Mitral Stenosis;
  • Coarctation of the Aorta;
  • Abdominal Defects (Omphalocele);
  • Cranial Defects (Craniosynostosis);
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA);
  • Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF);
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome; and
  • Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome

Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)

An atrial septal defect is a type of congenital heart defect which allows blood to flow between the right and left atria by way of the inter-atrial septum. Essentially, ASD causes the wall separating the upper chambers of the heart to have a hole in it, allowing blood to flow where it should not.

Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)

A ventricular septal defect is a type of congenital heart defect in which the left and right ventricles have a hole between them, causing oxygen-laden blood from the left side of the heart to leak into the right side and be recirculated back into the lungs, even though it is already oxygenated. This defect ultimately causes the heart to work much harder than it actually needs to and can even result in heart enlargement.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn refers to the failure of the circulatory transition that happens normally after a child is born. This transition enables the newborn child to live on its own without assistance from the mother’s circulatory system. PPHN causes a fetal blood vessel, the ductus arteriosus, to remain open instead of closing as it normally does shortly after birth. As a result, hypertension in the newborn’s lungs forces blood to move through the still-open ductus arteriosus and into other parts of the body before it has a chance to properly oxygenate. Ultimately, the child will be unable to breathe properly and can quickly develop hypoxemia and even acidosis. Recent studies have shown that mothers who took Zoloft during their pregnancy run a significantly higher risk of giving birth to a baby with PPHN than mothers who did not take the drug.


Craniosynostosis is a congenital birth defect resulting in the premature closing of sutures on a newborn child’s skull. Sutures are places where the skull knits itself together as the child grows and develops. Premature closure of a suture can result in an abnormally-shaped skull. Mothers who took Zoloft during pregnancy have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with craniosynostosis.


Omphalocele is a congenital birth defect resulting in the child being born with its intestines or other abdominal organs protruding from the belly button. Mothers who took Zoloft during pregnancy have an increased risk of giving birth to babies with omphalocele.

Contact Our Attorneys at 1-888-603-3636 for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one took Zoloft and gave birth to a child with a heart or other defect, contact the attorneys at Zehl & Associates for a free consultation at 1-888-603-3636.


Fill out the form below for a free case review with our undefeated personal injury lawyers

First Name



Describe your case

All communications are private and confidential.

I hired Zehl when I was severely injured doing a Plug and Abandonment job offshore. I'm glad I did, they were incredible. They walked me through every step of the case, made sure that I got to the best doctors, and were always there for me when I was having trouble paying bills when the case was pending. I always felt that I was in good hands and well taken care of, which relieved a lot of my stress and helped put me at ease. Eric and the team at Zehl and Associates represented my best interests, I highly recommend them.
Derrick Collins
Derrick Collins
21:03 14 Jun 17
I was hesitant to file a lawsuit when I was injured at work, because I didn't know what to expect and my company kept telling me that "they were going to take care of me." But the medical bills kept piling up, I wasn't able to work and make money to support my family. Eric Allen and the staff at Zehl put me at ease about the process, kept me to up date about what was going on, and devoted all their resources to making sure that I had the money I needed to pay all my medical expenses and take care of myself and my family. I can honestly say that working with Eric, Ryan and the Zehl team was one of the best decisions we've ever made. Thank you.
Maura Burnett
Maura Burnett
22:17 12 Jun 17
After I was injured at a chemical plant, I needed time to recover from my injuries and a lawyer who could stand up for me and my family against my company. Ryan Zehl was recommended to me from a coworker. Ryan worked hard to prepare my case and kept me and my family in the loop through the entire process. At the end they were able to get me a settlement that was much more than we had expected. I’d recommend Ryan and the team at Zehl to anyone who needs an injury lawyer who’s aggressive, honest and dedicated to protecting their clients.
Jeffrey Hutson
Jeffrey Hutson
15:47 12 May 17
Thanks to the hard work from Ryan and his team, a dangerous product that could have hurt thousands of people is now off the street. Even though I suffered from the lack of safety checks from this product, I am happy to have “taken the bullet”, to keep other people safe. Special thanks to Tommy Servos, who kept me informed through out the whole trial and helped me get a record recovery!
Kevin Nunn
Kevin Nunn
20:30 14 May 17
I grew up in Texas and went to work on an oil rig just like my dad did. It was a point of pride to follow in the same career path as my father, but no one warned me about the constant pending danger of being on the rig. My team and I are professionals that follow the rules and keep safety as priority number 1. But there are some factors to this job that can’t be controlled. Just like the BP Deep Water Horizon oil spill, my rig suffered an explosion due to the lack of up keep and maintenance from our superiors. Ryan Zehl came to our aid to get the compensation my crew and I needed. Having a Houston personal injury attorney from back home represent us was truly a personal and eye opening experience. He truly cared about us and thanks to him, I can recover with my family and the safety precautions on the rig have never been tighter.
Catherine J. Bates
Catherine J. Bates
02:23 06 Mar 17
Husband was killed at a refinery to the lack of safety checks performed by the company he worked for. When I found out he was gone I was so devastated and scared for our family I wasn’t sure what the next step would be. At first I thought his company would do the right thing and take care of us. But was I wrong. They tried to say we could only recover worker’s comp and had no claim against the company. I hired Ryan because of their experience with plant and refinery accident cases. I was so impressed at how professional and caring Ryan and his entire team were. They would call to check on me and my kids and always made sure I had money to pay bills and get presents for my kids on there birthdays and at Christmas. I don’t know where we’d be without there help. Because of Ryan and his team, I was able to pay off the house, put a trust together for my kids to make sure they’re able to pay for college, and never have to worry about having enough money to take care of myself and the kids again. We are so grateful for everything they did for us. Thank you.
Silvana Teixeira
Silvana Teixeira
06:52 06 Jun 17
Ryan and his team at Zehl & Associates were outstanding from when I first hired them to when they got my case settled. I couldn’t be happier with the results and the work at this law firm has done. I am very thankful and don’t hesitate to give them 5 out 5 stars! You want these guys are your side.
Jhon Abraham
Jhon Abraham
16:53 13 May 17
I came to Zehl Law Firm after I was injured in a car accident. They made me feel comfortable and explained things so I understood what to expect. Along with excellent communication. They were always quick to respond and update me on everything. Kelvin Hayes did a great job with my case and I would be happy to refer him to anyone looking for a auto injury lawyer.
Cody Pennington
Cody Pennington
21:31 03 Jul 17
I highly recommend Zehl Law! When I was injured on the job, I reached out to Ryan’s office and was greeted with support. I was well taken and care of and really appreciate how the law firm professionals went above and beyond their call of duty to help me. Now I can recover without having to worry about money until I am well enough to get back on the job. Thanks guys!
Anna Cris
Anna Cris
12:07 12 Jul 17
I can't even explain the blessing of having Zehl & Associates in our life. This firm has been like family to us and changed our lives forever. Great, friendly Law Firm that I recommend everyone to go to. One on one with your attorney, the fact that you dont have to worry about anything, they handle the whole process! I want to thank Zehl & Associates for an amazing job! #best personalinjurylawyers
Laura Blanco
Laura Blanco
04:00 17 Aug 17
Tommy Servos handled my dads pharmaceutical suit and thanks to all his hard work, my dad is now getting the proper treatment he needs and we won't have to worry about the hefty costs that come with it.
Pasquale D'argenzi
Pasquale D'argenzi
02:29 07 Jul 17
Thanks to Ryan and his team, I was able to get the compensation I deserved after being hurt while at work. They kept me up to date and made sure that I had everything I needed going forward. This group is top notch
Jason Cordell
Jason Cordell
03:02 05 May 17
We've had the opportunity to work jointly on cases with Ryan Zehl and his law firm. The attorneys at Zehl & Associates are smart, professional, and great to work with. I recommend them without hesitation.
Hughes Ellzey, LLP
Hughes Ellzey, LLP
18:28 13 Feb 18