Effexor Birth Defects

Effexor Birth Defects: Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension and Other Problems

Effexor birth defects including persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN) are occurring in startling numbers among women who took the SSRI medication. Effexor is one of many antidepressants, including Paxil and Prozac, classified as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRI drugs are used to treat depression, as well as panic disorders and anxiety.

While Effexor can help to boost serotonin levels to correct chemical imbalances in the brain, studies indicate that it can also pose serious risk of harm to a developing fetus.

In a 2005 paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, University of Pittsburg researchers indicated that more than 80,000 pregnant women are prescribed some type of SSRI, like Effexor, annually. Today, research suggests many of these women may need the help of an Effexor lawyer if the medication they are taking harms their babies.

Increased Risk of Effexor Birth Defects

The dangers of Effexor birth defects are very real. A study conducted in 1996 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that infants who had been exposed to Prozac, an SSRI, were twice as likely to develop at least three “minor” congenital abnormalities.

Additional studies went on to find that some of the Effexor birth defects might not be so minor. For instance, according to a 2005 Danish study, congenital heart defects are among the most likely Effexor birth defects. In fact, the study indicated that women taking SSRI medications during the first months of pregnancy had a 60 percent higher chance of delivering an infant with a congenital heart defect.

Another study, this one conducted at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, found that taking SSRI medications any time in the 30 days prior to conception could also increase the risk of SSRI birth defects, even if the mother stopped taking the pills once she had conceived.

Types of Effexor Birth Defects

Some examples of Effexor birth defects that may be named in an Effexor lawsuit include:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn (PPHN): This occurs when an infant’s circulatory system does not properly transition from using the placenta to breathe to using the lungs after birth.
  • Septal heart defects: These occur when there is a hole between the upper chambers of the heart (the atrium) or between the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
  • Tetralogy of Fallot: This actually describes a condition where the infant has four separate heart defects.
  • Other potential heart problems: hypoplastic left heart syndrome, transposition of the great vessels, tricuspic and pulmonary artesia, coarctation of the aorta, a double outlet right ventricle or double inlet let ventricle, and a double aortic arch or truncus arteriosus.
  • Abdominal defects: These may include omphalocele or gastorochesis, two types of malformations of the abdominal wall.
  • Cranial defects such as craniosynostosis.
  • Lung malformations such as pulmonary stenosis.
  • Limb malformation such as clubfoot.

Many of these Effexor birth defects can have serious consequences to an infant’s health and many require multiple surgeries to correct, if they can be corrected at all. The cost—both financial and emotional—of dealing with Effexor birth defects can be significant. An Effexor lawyer can help you to file an Effexor lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve.

Getting Legal Help for Effexor Birth Defects

When a dangerous product causes a birth defect, the manufacturer may be held responsible. An Effexor lawsuit may help you win compensation for medical expenses. If you or a loved one has been affected by Effexor birth defects, contact an experienced Effexor lawyer at Chaffin Luhana LLP at 1-888-480-1123 for a free and confidential case review today. You may be entitled to compensation, and the lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help.