SSRI antidepressants including the popular drug Effexor (generic: venlafaxine) have been linked to variety of severe birth defects including Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), heart, lung, abdominal and cranial defects.
Effexor Birth Defects Update 1/7/13: A new study has attempted to determine whether Effexor has the potential to cause birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during their first trimester of pregnancy. The research involved data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study (NBDPS), and found ‘statistically significant associations’ between Effexor exposure and a number of serious congenital abnormalities. Click here to learn more.
If you or a loved one have taken Effexor while pregnant and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you should contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Effexor lawsuit and we can help.
Effexor Lawsuit Update: Schmidt & Clark, LLP continues to be contacted by a large number of mothers, fathers and family members of babies born with birth defects directly related to the use of Effexor during pregnancy. It is important to remember that you are not alone, and the birth defects that your child was born with are not your fault.
Drug manufacturers have a responsibility to warn patients and doctors of the known risks in taking medications while pregnant. When drug manufacturers fail to warn consumers, they must be held accountable. The filing of an Effexor lawsuit will never heal the emotional devastation of knowing that your child’s birth defect could have been prevented, however it can assist you and your family in the paying of medical bills, covering future healthcare costs and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you/we will not stand by and let a giant pharmaceutical company put their profits over the safety of American consumers and their families.
Michael E. Schmidt, Managing Partner of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, has stated, “Our law firm has represented thousands of victims in pharmaceutical side effect and recall lawsuit. However, as a father of four, this particular litigation [Effexor birth defects] really strikes home. We intend to passionately represent the children and families affected by the manufacturer’s inability to warn the mothers of the potential for Effexor induced birth defects when taking this drug while pregnant.”
Effexor: An Overview
Effexor® (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drug used by millions of Americans to treat depressive disorder, anxiety, and a number of panic disorders. It is designed to affect chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Manufacturer Wyeth claims that Effexor increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the spaces between the cells in the brain, and that these increased levels allow more efficient transmission of electrical signals to the brain and thus increase an individual’s feelings of well-being.
Although Effexor is FDA approved, recent studies have raised concern about birth defects associated with the drug. FDA lists Effexor in Pregnancy Category C, which means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus.
FDA Video: SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
Below is an excellent video produced by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which warns patients and physicians of serious, life-threatening birth defects linked to SSRI antidepressants.
Read the Full Transcript: SSRI Antidepressant Birth Defects
Congenital Heart Defects
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has warned doctors and patients that exposure to SSRI’s such as Effexor during pregnancy pose a serious risk to the fetus and has been linked to an increased risk of Congenital Heart Defects.
More specifically, the most common form of Effexor induced heart birth defects observed by our firm has been either Atrial Septal Defects or Ventricular Septal Defects.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Recently, The New England Journal of Medicine released the results of a case-controlled study wherein SSRI’s including Effexor were linked to an increased risk of an infant being born with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN).
Shortly after the aforementioned study was released, the FDA issued another Public Health Advisory warning that exposure to Effexor during pregnancy posed a serious risk to the fetus and was linked to an increased risk of PPHN.
Abdominal & Cranial Birth Defects
According to information released from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants, SSRI antidepressants like Effexor may cause two separate congenital abnormalities called Omphalocele and Craniosynostosis.
Omphalocele is a congenital (present at birth) abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord (umbilicus); the infant is born with a sac protruding through the defect which contains small intestine, liver, and large intestine.
Craniosynostosis is a congenital (present at birth) defect that causes one or more sutures on a baby’s head to close earlier than normal. Sutures are connections that separate each individual skull bones. The early closing of a suture leads to an abnormally shaped head.
Effexor and Autism
A June 2011 study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found a strong correlation between autism birth defects and antidepressants like Effexor. The study involved 298 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and found that women who took an SSRI antidepressant while pregnant were twice as likely to give birth to a child with an ASD than mothers who did not. The scientists who conducted the study have advised doctors and patients to carefully weigh the benefits vs. risks of taking antidepressants carefully before beginning a regiment.
Known Effexor Side Effects
- Birth Defects
- Congenital Heart Defects, Atrial or Ventricular Septal Defects (hole in heart)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Abdominal Birth Defects / Omphalocele
- Cranial Birth Defects / Craniosynostosis
Birth Defects Linked to Antidepressants – What Type of Effexor Lawsuits Are Being Filed?
Our lawyers are filing Effexor lawsuits for injured individuals and families for the following life-threatening birth defects that have been linked to the use of Effexor and other antidepressants:
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Cleft Palate
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Do I have an Effexor Lawsuit?
The Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in Effexor lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new Effexor birth defect lawsuits in all 50 states.
Our Effexor lawyers have decades of experience and the resources you need to effectively hold the manufacturers of Effexor responsible for their failure to warn expectant mothers of the risks in taking Effexor while pregnant.
The initial steps in filing an Effexor lawsuit are simple. First, it is important to understand that our law firm works on a contingency basis, which means that we do not charge for our legal services unless we file and successfully receive a settlement or verdict on your behalf. So, if you or a loved one has taken Effexor while pregnant and given birth to a child with a congenital birth defect, you should contact us immediately for a free confidential evaluation of your potential lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Effexor lawsuit and we can help.