Cleft Palate Lawsuit – Effexor Birth Defect

December 20, 2011

What is Cleft Palate?

Cleft palate is one of the most common birth defects. The definition of a ‘cleft’ is an opening or splitting of the upper lip, roof of the mouth (palate) or both of these defects. Cleft palate happens when the facial structures are developing during pregnancy and they don’t entirely close.

Cleft palate often occurs as an isolated birth defect, without other birth defects. However, there are often other birth defects found along with cleft palate. Recent research, including a study conducted by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study claim that certain birth defects like cleft palate may be caused by the prenatal use of antidepressants like Effexor when taken during the early stages of pregnancy.

Cleft palate typically leaves behind a certain level of scarring, depending on when the defect is discovered and corrected.

Cleft Palate Symptoms

Common cleft lip/palate symptoms and problems include:

  • Chronic ear infections
  • Problems speaking
  • Eating issues
  • Poorly shaped nose
  • Crooked teeth
  • Low weight

The cleft in a baby is typically identifiable immediately at the time of birth. Cleft palate may affect either or both portions of the face. Cleft palate may only be small or it may go all the way from the lip through the upper gum and palate into the lower portion of the infant’s nose.

Sometimes the cleft appears in the muscles of the soft portion of the palate at the rear of the mouth covered by the lining of the mouth. Due to its hidden nature, a cleft in the soft portion of the palate might not be diagnosed at birth.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Trouble feeding
  • Nasal regurgitation
  • Excessive gassiness

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 Cleft Palate 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).

© Willis Law Firm for Drug Attorneys. Replication strictly prohibited without written consent.