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Side effects of Effexor use during pregnancy may increase the risk that children will suffer severe and potentially life-threatening heart problems and birth defects.
EFFEXOR LAWSUIT STATUS: Product liability lawyers are pursuing potential Effexor birth defect lawsuits nationwide for children who have suffered septal heart defects or other health problems that may have been caused by exposure to the antidepressant before birth.
OVERVIEW: Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant that belongs to a class of medications known as serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
SNRI antidepressants are very similar to the more popular class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include the blockbuster medications Paxil and Zoloft. SSRI antidepressants have been linked to a risk of birth defects, and SNRIs are known to have many of the same side effects.
EFFEXOR BIRTH DEFECT PROBLEMS: Reports suggest that children exposed to Effexor before birth may be at an increased risk of septal heart defects and other birth injuries. Septal heart defects involve a hole developing between the two sides of the heart, making it less efficient. The birth defect can cause a number of serious health problems and can be life-threatening.
A 2010 study also linked the use of Effexor and similar antidepressants to an increased risk of miscarriage when taken by pregnant women. According to that study, 5.5% of women given antidepressants like Effexor and Paxil suffered a miscarriage, compared to 2.7% of women not given the drugs.
According to allegations raised in Effexor lawsuits pending nationwide, Pfizer knew or should have known about the risk of problems from Effexor. Complaints indicate that both animal testing and post-marketing surveillance provided the manufacturer with information linking Effexor and birth defect risks.
Plaintiffs allege that Pfizer and their Wyeth subsidiary placed their desire for profits before consumer safety by failing to provide adequate and complete information about the Effexor birth defect risks to consumers or the medical community.
LAWYERS FOR EFFEXOR BIRTH DEFECTS: Potential claims are being reviewed for children throughout the United States by Effexor birth defect lawyers.