Effexor Lawsuit

Effexor Lawsuit May Win Compensation for Struggling Families

Many moms who took the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) during pregnancy have been devastated by miscarriage, have struggled to help their babies with developmental delays, and may have even given birth to babies with serious Effexor birth defects like persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN). Mothers who were unaware of these risks often feel outraged at Effexor manufacturer Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, with some deciding to hold them responsible in an Effexor lawsuit.

Effexor Miscarriage

The Canadian Medical Association Journal in May 2010 published a study showing that women who took antidepressants like Effexor during the first trimester were more likely to miscarry than women who did not. In fact, the risk of miscarriage was 68 percent higher in women who took the drugs, with Effexor among those that created the highest risk. Researchers warned that women should be particularly cautious about using Effexor during pregnancy.

Effexor Developmental Delays

Another study published in Pediatrics (March 2010) found that exposure to antidepressants like Effexor in late pregnancy caused developmental delays in babies at 6 months and 19 months. Children took 16 days longer to sit without support, a month longer to walk, and longer to learn how to occupy themselves. “The results of this study suggest a permanent or reversible effect of antidepressant exposure on fetal brain development,” the researchers wrote.


Effexor is a newer antidepressant medication, slightly different than some of its predecessors. Similar drugs on the market, like Zoloft and Prozac, are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which means they work to increase the level of “feel-good” serotonin in the brain, helping to ease depression and improve mood. Effexor is a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), which means it increases levels of serotonin, but also helps raise the levels of another mood neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. It shares some characteristics with SSRI drugs, with the added effect of boosting norepinephrine as well.

Effexor Birth Defects: PPHN

Recent research has demonstrated a link between the use of SSRI antidepressants (similar to Effexor) and birth defects like PPHN. A 2006 study found that mothers who took SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy were six times more likely to have a child with PPHN than those who didn’t. The FDA released a public health advisory about the issue, warning patients and healthcare providers to seriously consider the risk. PPHN is a potentially life-threatening birth defect that affects the arteries leading into the lungs, making it difficult for a baby to get the oxygen he or she needs.

Effexor Heart Defects

Additional studies have found a link between the use of SSRI antidepressants and increased risk of heart defects. Both a 2005 Danish study and a 2009 study published in the British Medical Journal found such a link, with the 2009 study showing a greater risk of septal heart defects. Denmark and American researchers found similar results in studies published in 2010.

Abdominal Defect and Cranial Defect

American researchers found that women who took SSRI antidepressants were more likely to give birth to babies with other types of birth defects. These included craniosynostosis, a cranial defect in the skull, and omphalocele, an abdominal defect where some of the internal organs develop outside the abdominal cavity.

An Effexor Lawsuit May Help with Expenses

If your child was born with a Effexor birth defect like PPHN or a septal heart defect, and you took Effexor during your pregnancy, an Effexor lawyer may be able to help you win compensation for medical expenses. An Effexor lawsuit may also help families recover from miscarriage and childhood developmental delays. Contact Chaffin Luhana LLP today for a confidential case evaluation at 1-888-480-1123.