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Effexor/Venlafaxine Exposure Lawyer In Florida

Effexor, generically known as venlafaxine, is part of a group of antidepressant drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are used by millions of Americans to treat depressive disorder, anxiety, and a number of panic disorders. Effexor is designed to affect chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced, leading to depression. According to the manufacturer of Effexor, Wyeth, Effexor acts to boost an individual's feelings of well-being because the drug increases serotonin and norepinephrine levels in the spaces between the cells in the brain, and these increased levels allow more efficient transmission of electrical signals to the brain.

Effexor is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but recent studies have raised concerns about birth defects associated with the drug and others like it. The FDA lists Effexor in "Pregnancy Category C." This means that animal reproduction studies have shown an adverse effect on the fetus.

Injuries and side effects of Effexor

The following are some of the serious Effexor side effects and SSRI injuries:

Congenital heart defects - A pregnant woman's use of Effexor and other SSRIs poses a serious risk to the fetus, according to FDA warnings to doctors and patients. Effexor exposure has been linked to an increased risk of congenital (present at birth) heart defects. Effexor induced heart birth defects include atrial septal defects or ventricular septal defects.

Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) - The New England Journal of Medicine recently released the results of a case-controlled study wherein SSRIs including Effexor were linked to an increased risk of an infant being born with PPHN. After the study was released, the FDA issued another public health advisory warning that exposure to Effexor during pregnancy posed a serious risk to the fetus and was linked to an increased risk of PPHN.

Abdominal and cranial birth defects - According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Study of Infants, SSRI antidepressants such as Effexor may cause two separate congenital abnormalities known as  Omphalocele and Craniosynostosis. Omphalocele is a congenital abdominal wall defect at the base of the umbilical cord (umbilicus); the infant is born with a sac protruding through the defect which contains small intestine, liver, and large intestine. Craniosynostosis is a congenital defect that causes one or more sutures on a baby's head to close earlier than normal. Sutures are connections that separate each individual skull bones. The early closing of a suture leads to an abnormally shaped head.

Effexor and autism - A study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in June 2011 found a strong correlation between autism birth defects and antidepressants like Effexor. The study involved 298 children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 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. The scientists who conducted the study have advised doctors and patients to carefully weigh the benefits vs. risks of taking antidepressants carefully before beginning a regiment.

Effexor-related birth defects

The following are some of the birth defects linked to exposure to Effexor:

  • Congenital heart defects, atrial or ventricular septal defects (hole in heart)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Abdominal birth defects / omphalocele
  • Cranial birth defects / craniosynostosis

Birth defects linked to antidepressants

Antidepressants like Effexor have been linked to the following birth defects and conditions:

  • Atrial septal defects (ASP)
  • Ventricular septal defects (VSD)
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
  • Tricuspid valve (Ebstein's anomaly)
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Transposition of the great arteries (TGA)
  • Transposition of the great vessels (TGV)
  • Tetralogy of fallot (TOF)
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)
  • Hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS)
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Pulmonary atresia (PA)
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Tricuspid valve stenosis
  • Heart murmur
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Gastroschisis - abdominal wall defect
  • Esophageal stenosis
  • Clubfoot
  • Anal atresia
  • Spina bifida
  • Autism

Contact an aggressive, experienced Effexor attorney in Florida today - serving clients nationwide

If you or a loved one experienced harmful side effects after using Effexor, contact experienced Effexor lawyer Jeffrey D. DeCarlo. A nationally recognized dangerous drugs lawsuit attorney, Jeffrey DeCarlo isn't afraid to take on big pharmaceutical companies.

For over 20 years, attorney Jeffrey D. DeCarlo has successfully litigated cases against drug manufacturers in Florida and throughout the United States. For all personal injury matters, he works on a contingency fee basis and offers free initial consultations. Contact the Law Office of Jeffrey D. DeCarlo, P.A., at (305) 572-0065.

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