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: Oct 31, 2014

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Do you know the risks associated with using Pristiq for depression?

Pristiq is an antidepressant drug prescribed for the treatment of major depressive disorders. Depression is a serious medical condition that can severely impact on a person’s quality of life. The cause of depression is unknown, but it can be treated with the right medication. However, patients should be made fully aware of the side effects of Pristiq before taking it, and doctors are required to fully inform their patients of the risks to their health when prescribing medication.

Pristiq: An FDA Category C Drug

Drugs are placed in certain risk categories, depending on the test history of the drug. These categories provide relevant information to the doctor and the consumer about the relative risks of taking a particular drug. For example, a Category A drug has been subject to human studies and all of the risks associated with humans taking that drug are known. This is compared to a Category B or C drug, which has only been subject to animal studies and not been tested by clinical studies on humans. While Category B and C drugs might have potential benefits for humans, they also come with potential unknown risks. Pristiq is a Category C drug. All of the risks associated with human use Pristiq are only now being fully discovered.

Side Effects

Pristiq has been available since 2008, but the full side effects are only just being discovered. A variety of side effects associated with Pristiq are as follows:

Physical:

  • breathing difficulties
  • low blood sugar
  • jaundice
  • changing body temperatures
  • tremors or convulsions
  • vomiting
  • floppiness or stiffness

Emotional:

  • irritability
  • jitteriness
  • abnormal crying

These side effects may be considered worth the risk. However, if you are a woman who is pregnant or attempting to become pregnant, your unborn child may be at risk for severe health consequences.

Caution to women: Risk in taking anti-depressants when pregnant

If your physician prescribes you an antidepressant during pregnancy, they may be putting you and your child at risk. Many anti-depressant drugs, have not been tested on pregnant women. As a result, an increasing number of pregnant women are taking drugs that are not appropriate during pregnancy. Recent medical studies indicate that if a mother takes anti-depressants while pregnant, she is placing her child at risk for developing autism and other developmental disorders. To be safe, another drug free alternative should be used, if possible, for the treatment of depression when pregnant.

Consult an Attorney

If you have taken a prescribed anti-depressant while pregnant and your unborn child’s health has suffered as a result, then you should contact an attorney immediately to discuss possible action.