Drug Spotlight: Effexor Birth Defect Dangers

This is Michael Brady Lynch, lead trial attorney for The Michael Brady Lynch Firm.

From time to time, I update my blog with a spotlight on a particular drug in the news. Today’s entry will focus on the drug Effexor and the link to birth defects.

Effexor is an antidepressant of the SNRI class manufactured by Pfizer which first hit the U.S. market in 1993. Since then, thanks in most part to an extremely aggressive market campaign, Effexor has steadily grabbed increasing market share. Using data from 2007, Effexor now boasts over 17.2 million annual prescriptions and the distinction of being the sixth most prescribed antidepressant.

One key difference in safety perception between Effexor and other antidepressants such as Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, and Prozac is that Effexor is an SNRI and not a SSRI. This distinction has led some people to falsely believe that Effexor is safer than other antidepressants in terms of the dangers of birth defects like Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN), limb abnormalities, cranial and heart defects and skeletal abnormalities. This is simply not true.

Studies have revealed that Effexor is just as likely, if not more, to cause birth defects in children than SSRI drugs like Paxil, Celexa, Zoloft, and Prozac. Studies published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, and another in the American Journal of Nursing, all confirmed the strong association of SNRI’s such as Effexor to devastating birth defects like PPHN, limb abnormalities, cranial and heart defects and skeletal abnormalities. While any birth defect can be devastating, PPHN is an especially disabling and debilitating defect. The risk for PPHN is over 6 times more likely for patients who take SSRIs in their third trimester, and the same risk profile has been attributed to SNRI slike Effexor.

If you or someone you know has taken Effexor and given birth to a child with a birth defect, please contact me directly for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your claim.

 

About the Firm: The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is a trial firm with a focus on pharmaceutical mass tort cases involving SSRI and Anti-Seizure Medication Birth Defects such as Lexapro, Zoloft, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Paxil, Depakote and Topamax, as well as Actos Bladder Cancer and Fosamax Femur Fractures, and medical device cases including DePuy Hip and Trans-Vaginal Mesh cases. Contact us today if you or someone you know has experienced side effects involving these products.

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