Pfizer’s widely-prescribed antidepressant medication Pristiq (generic: desvenlafaxine) has recently been linked to a large number of serious, potentially life-threatening birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy. Over the past several years, children exposed to Pristiq in the womb have been born with septal heart defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), clubfoot, cleft lip, and many other serious congenital abnormalities. The Pristiq Birth Defect Lawyers at Schmidt & Clark, LLP, are currently accepting potential lawsuits on behalf of babies born with Pristiq-induced birth defects.
Free Pristiq Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with one or more of the birth defects listed 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.
What’s the Problem with Pristiq?
It has recently come to the public’s attention that Pristiq, an FDA-approved antidepressant medication designed to treat depression and other serious psychological disorders, has the potential to cause a variety of serious birth defects when taken by expecting mothers during pregnancy (especially during the first trimester, a time when many women may still be unaware they are pregnant). If you used Pristiq while pregnant and gave birth to a child with one or more of the following congenital abnormalities, you may have a Pristiq Birth Defects Lawsuit, and Schmidt & Clark, LLP, can help you file your claim:
- 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
A 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) found a ‘significant association’ between antidepressant drugs from the same class as Pristiq and septal heart defects. According to the results of the study, expecting mothers who took antidepressants during pregnancy doubled their risk of having a baby born with congenital heart abnormalities. Another study published in the March 2010 edition of Pediatrics found a link between maternal exposure to antidepressants in late pregnancy and a delay in motor development skills at six and 19 months of age. A third study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that women who were pregnant and taking certain antidepressants during their first trimester had an increased risk of giving birth to babies with various heart defects.
Signs and symptoms of Pristiq septal heart defects may include:
- heart murmur
- shortness of breath
- irregular heartbeat
- heart palpitations
- frequent lung infections
- blue tint to the skin and lips (cyanosis)
- swelling of the legs, feet or abdomen
Pristiq & Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Research published in the NEJM found that babies born to mothers who took antidepressants like Pristiq while pregnant were at an increased risk of developing persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Infants born with this condition suffer from circulatory problems that can lead to respiratory failure shortly after birth. Symptoms of Pristiq-induced PPHN may include (but are not limited to):
- rapid heart rate
- rapid and difficulty breathing
- signs of respiratory distress (i.e nostril flaring and grunting)
- bluish skin tone (cyanosis)
- oxygen deprivation
Sadly, even with treatment, 10 to 20% of infants born with PPHN do not survive.
Pristiq & Oral Cleft Birth Defects
Oral cleft birth defects occur when the roof of the baby’s mouth fails to develop normally in the womb, leaving an opening (cleft) that may pass through the nasal cavity. A Pristiq-induced cleft can form on any part of the palate, including the front part of the roof of the mouth (hard palate), or the small flap of tissue that hangs down from the soft palate (uvula). The defect may occur alone or be accompanied by other orofacial abnormalities.
Orofacial birth defects occur in about one to two of every 1,000 live births in the U.S. each year, making it among the most commonly reported congenital abnormalities involving the head and neck. For reasons still unclear, oral cleft defects tend to occur most often in the children of Asian, Latino, and Native American descent.
Orofacial clefts typically fall into three broad categories:
- Cleft lip without a cleft palate
- Cleft palate without a cleft lip
- Cleft lip and cleft palate together
Do I Have a Pristiq Birth Defects 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 Pristiq birth defects cases in all 50 states.
Free Pristiq Birth Defects Lawsuit Evaluation: If your child or other loved one was born with one or more of the birth defects listed 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.