Effexor Lawsuit Compensation For Birth Defects

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Birth defects result in difficult challenges. If you took Effexor while pregnant, find out whether filing an Effexor lawsuit is in your best interests. Your family may be entitled to compensation for the injuries you’ve already suffered – as well as those you may have to deal with in the years to come.

Effexor Birth Defects

Effexor (venlafaxine) is an anti-depressant / anti-anxiety drug marketed by Wyeth Laboratories and has only been on the market since 2004. However, numerous SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) birth defect studies show a positive correlation between birth defects in children born to mothers who were prescribed the drug while pregnant. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) lists Effexor and other SSRI drugs such as Celexa and Lexapro in Pregnancy Category C – which means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus. Some of those birth defects include:

  • Abdominal Birth Defects / Omphalocele. This is a defect in the development of the muscles of the abdominal wall at the base of the umbilical cord. Some of the organs such as the small intestine, liver or large intestine may remain outside of the abdomen and require surgery to correct.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In June 2011, the Archives of General Psychiatry published a study which found a strong correlation between autism birth defects and antidepressants. The study 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.
  • Anal atresia. This is a complete or partial closure of the anus.
  • Cardiac (heart) defects. These can include coarctation of the aorta, heart valve abnormalities, hypo-plastic left heart syndrome, Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA), septal defects, Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and transposition of the great arteries. A New England Journal of Medicine study reported that pregnant women who take SSRIs in their first trimester quadruple the risk of their babies experiencing a heart defect.
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Clubfoot. This is one or both feet turn downward and inward.
  • Craniosynostosis (skull defect). Craniosynostosis is caused by one or more sutures – connections that separate each individual skull bones – on an infant’s head to close earlier than normal which results in abnormally shaped head.
  • Genital malformation
  • Limb defects
  • Spina Bifida. Spina bifida, a neural tube defect with no known cure, is characterized by the failure of the backbone and spinal cord to close before birth. There are generally three types of spina bifida:
  • Myelomeningocele– This is the most serious type which occurs when the bones of the vertebrae don’t form properly – allowing a small sac containing cerebrospinal fluid and tissues that protect the spinal cord to extend though an opening in the spine.
  • Spina bifida occulta– This occurs when spinal bones fail to close, but the spinal cord itself and the meninges – the system of membranes which envelopes the central nervous system – remain in place.
  • Meningoceles – This is a condition in which the spinal cord develops normally; however, the meninges protrude from a spinal opening.
  • PPHN. PPHN is caused when mothers ingest an SSRI drug during their third trimester, or after their 20th week. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, the risk of a child developing PPHN is six times greater for women who take anti-depressant drugs during pregnancy than for women who haven’t taken anti-depressants during pregnancy.

Filing an Effexor Injury Lawsuit

If your child has a birth defect which may have been caused by Effexor, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an Effexor birth defect injury lawyer to discuss your situation so that you can decide for yourself whether filing an Effexor lawsuit is in your best interests and that of your family.

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