Mounting research and numerous case studies have found that expecting mothers who take Pfizer’s widely-prescribed antidepressant Pristiq during pregnancy are more than twice as likely to have babies with birth defects than women who take no such medications during pregnancy. These potentially life-threatening Pristiq birth defects include congenital heart defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), and cranial defects such as craniosynostosis. As a result, a growing number of women around the country have filed Pristiq lawsuits, alleging that Pfizer failed to properly warn them about the risks associated with taking Pristiq during pregnancy.
Free Pristiq Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was born with one or more of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Pristiq in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer of Pristiq and we can help.
Pristiq: An Overview
Manufactured and marketed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Pristiq (generic: desvenlafaxine) is an FDA-approved prescription medication designed to treat depression and other serious psychological disorders. Pristiq belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) that work by increasing neurotransmitter levels in the brain, thereby theoretically increasing feelings of happiness and well-being.
Pristiq Birth Defects
Unfortunately, despite its considerable effectiveness as an antidepressant medication, Pristiq has been increasingly associated with a large number of serious birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant). Congenital abnormalities linked to the maternal consumption of Pristiq have been reported to include:
- 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
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Pristiq Heart Defects
Two of the most commonly reported birth defects associated with the maternal use of Pristiq are atrial septal defects (ASDs) and ventricular septal defects (VSDs). ASDs occur when there is a hole in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart (atria) which makes blood exchange difficult and inefficient. VSDs are characterized by an opening in between the heart’s ventricles which allow a large amount of oxygen-rich blood from the heart’s left side through the defect on the right side. This is wasteful, since blood that’s already been to the lungs is returning there, and blood that needs to go to the lungs is being displaced. The heart, which has to pump an extra amount of blood, is overworked and may enlarge.
Pristiq & Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) occurs when an infant’s arteries to the lungs remain closed after birth, constricting the amount of blood flow to the lungs and oxygen into the bloodstream. Babies born with PPHN are usually full-term or near-term infants who are born without associated abnormalities, yet present after birth with severe respiratory failure. Signs and symptoms of Pristiq-induced PPHN may include:
- rapid breathing (tachypnea)
- rapid heart rate
- respiratory distress
- flaring nostrils
- bluish tint to skin (cyanosis)
- abnormal heart sound (heart murmur)
- low oxygen levels – a baby with PPHN may continue to have low oxygen levels in their blood, even while receiving 100 percent oxygen.
If you think you may have a Pristiq birth defects lawsuit, you should contact Schmidt & Clark, LLP, today. Fill out the confidential contact form below and a member of our experienced staff will call you to discuss your potential rights pertaining to Pristiq. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are never any costs or fees unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case.
Do I Have a Pristiq Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Pristiq lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new birth defect cases in all 50 states.
Free Pristiq Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has a child who was born with one or more of the birth defects mentioned in this article after being exposed to Pristiq in the womb, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Pristiq birth defects suit and we can help.