Anencephaly Lawsuit – Effexor Birth Defect

December 20, 2011

What is Anencephaly?

Anencephaly is a congenital (present at birth) birth defect which involves missing a large portion of the brain and skull. Anencephaly is considered a neural tube defect and is one of the most common neural tube defects. Neural tube defects (NTDs) are defects present at birth which damage the tissue which becomes the spinal cord and the brain.

Anencephaly typically happens in the early stages of development of the fetus. Anencephaly occurs when the higher portion of the neural tube does not close correctly. The exact cause of anencephaly is unknown, but recent research suggests that it is more common with the use of certain antidepressants such as Effexor taken early in pregnancy. Another potential cause is a low intake of folic acid by the pregnant mother.

Anencephaly currently happens in approximately 1 of every 10,000 births in the United States. The exact number of cases is not known because many fetuses with anencephaly result in miscarriages. Having one child with anencephaly may result in an increased risk of having more children with the birth defect.

Symptoms of Anencephaly

Some common symptoms of anencephaly in newborn infants may include some or all of the following:

  • Lack of portions of the skull
  • Lack of portions of the brain (cerebral hemispheres and cerebellum)
  • Abnormalities of facial features
  • Heart defects

About Effexor

Effexor (Venlafaxine) was introduced to the market in 1994. It is considered a Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI). Effexor is typically used to treat major anxiety disorders and depression. There is not a lot of information presently available about the side effects and complications of Effexor other than that it is a Pregnancy Category C drug, as noted by the Food and Drug Administration. Class C category drugs have shown adverse effects in clinical trials with animals, but there is presently not enough evidence from human trials. This could mean that there simply have not been any human tests, or that the tests have not shown adequate evidence.

Effexor Anencephaly Lawsuit: Speak to an Attorney

Many new parents ask themselves what was the cause of my child’s birth defects? Did it happen during pregnancy? The antidepressant Effexor may be linked to causing the development of birth defects in unborn babies, infants, and children when their mothers took antidepressants while pregnant.

Our law firm is handling individual birth defect lawsuits against drug and pharmaceutical companies and currently accepting new Effexor cases across the nation. If your child was born with a birth injury that you believe may have been caused by taking an antidepressant like Effexor during pregnancy, then you should contact our law firm as soon as possible for a free confidential review of your potential birth defect lawsuit case. All cases are handled on a Contingency Fee Basis (no attorney’s fees or expenses charged unless we recover for you).

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