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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

What are the potential side effects of Zoloft? Are they serious? What can I do if I suffer severe injury as a result of taking Zoloft?

Despite what many people think, depression and overwhelming anxiety are not simple matters that can be controlled by choice. For those who are lucky enough to have never experienced a panic attack or soul-sucking depressive episode, it’s easy to say, “Oh, just suck it up” or “just smile, it’s not that bad.”

The problem is, it is that bad.

Depression is a serious disease that affects over millions of people. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older, or 6.7 percent of the adult U.S. population, had at least one major depressive episode in 2014 alone. If not treated, depressive episodes can severely affect brain function, mood, emotional response, physical activity (lack of motivation to do anything), and much more.

When a person suffers from a debilitating mental illness such as depression, physicians sometimes recommend that they take an antidepressant drug as a form of treatment. The most common antidepressants are known as SSRIs (selective serotonin rteuptake inhibitors), and the most commonly prescribed SSRI is Zoloft.

How They Work

SSRIs work by controlling and adjusting the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter thought to affect mood, sleep, and learning. When serotonin levels are absorbed by the brain, the mood stabilizers cease to work. Since the signals stop, the brain reacts by instigating “lows” or feelings of depression and anxiety. SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, to ensure that there will be enough serotonin available to stabilize mood.

Although extremely effective for depression, these types of drugs (especially Zoloft) have been known to be linked to potentially serious and life-threatening injuries.

Potential Side Effects

The typical side effects of SSRIs in general—and Zoloft in particular—include minor discomforts such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue
  • Diarrhea or loose stool
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Decreased libido, delayed ejaculation, and ejaculation failure

Although these side effects can be annoying, most patients are willing to deal with the odd bout of diarrhea or the occasional headache when compared to the alternative of dealing with the effects of depression. However, over the past decade, Zoloft has been found to cause potential chemical imbalances in the brain. As a result, numerous users have reported the following effects:

  • Birth defects. Zoloft and other SSRIs were associated with a 200 percent increased risk for pregnant patients to give birth to an autistic child. Other antidepressants had only an 87 percent overall increased risk.
  • Serotonin syndrome. As the drug boosts the amount of serotonin in the brain, serotonin levels can quickly become too high. Too much serotonin an cause severe reactions including high blood pressure, hyperthermia (high body temperature), fevers, seizures, and increased heart rate that can lead to shock.
  • Withdrawal symptoms. Zoloft has a half-life of about a day and can be completely out of the system within two days. However, once the brain has become dependent on the drug, serious withdrawal effects are likely if dosages are missed. The effects can include feelings of extreme anxiety, restlessness, agitation, aggressive behavior, and suicidal thoughts.

Are You Eligible to File a Claim After a Zoloft Injury?

If you or a loved one took Zoloft and suffered serious side effects as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. However, before filing your claim, make sure you have a strong case to pursue. Drug injury cases are difficult to win, and drug manufacturers have dozens of lawyers on retainer for just such incidences. Therefore, you must be sure that your claim is legitimate before you waste your time and money on a fragile case. Below are a few factors that can help you determine your eligibility.

  • Did you take Zoloft to treat depression?
  • Did you always take the drug as prescribed by your physician?
  • Did you suffer severe side effects that are known to be a result of the drug?
  • Did the side effects directly cause severe injury? Can you prove it?
  • Did the manufacturer, pharmacy, doctor, or other party fail to provide you with adequate warnings or instructions regarding the use of the drug?

Depending upon your answers to the above questions, you may wish to consider pursuing a legal claim.

Pursuing Your Claim

Assessing whether a person has a claim for compensation after using a dangerous drug requires the guidance of an experienced legal professional. It’s important to act quickly, however, since strict time limitations may apply. Contact our office today at 888-526-7616 when you’re ready to learn more about this unpredictable drug and your legal rights following adverse effects.

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law