Effexor Lawsuit

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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: 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

  • Withdrawal
  • 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:

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