Having a child born missing part (or all) of an arm or leg can be an extremely distressing experience. Finding out that this defect could have occurred as the result of taking a medication prescribed to you by your doctor can make it even more devastating. The National Birth Defect Prevention Study released new data in August of 2011 suggesting that taking the SNRI (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant Effexor while pregnant can double the chance of having a child born with arm and leg limb size reductions. The data was obtained through a study of over 27,000 births collected over a period of ten years; significantly, the NBDPS data specifically studied Effexor (venlafaxine) and excluded women who took other medications or had diabetes. Furthermore, another class of antidepressant medications called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also believed to result in birth defects, including arm and leg limb size reductions. Popular SSRIs include: Zoloft, Celexa, Prozac, Lexapro, and Paxil.
Arm and leg limb size reduction refers to a variety of conditions, but comprise any case in which a baby is born missing any part or possibly all of a limb. Unfortunately, many times a baby with this Effexor birth defect will be missing parts or all of more than one limb. Every year in the US around 1,500 infants are born with arm reductions, and around 750 with leg reductions. Although an exact cause has not been established, research shows that some environmental behaviors and exposures, including taking Effexor while pregnant, can greatly increase the chance that a child will be born with this defect. Limb defects frequently occur with other birth defects including: gastroschisis, heart defects, and omphalocele. Interestingly, all of these defects were also linked to Effexor use while pregnant through the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
When a child is born with Effexor arm and leg limb size reductions, treatment aims to make the affected limb appear and function as normally as possible. Doctors try to accomplish this through a combination of surgery, prosthetics, physical/occupational therapy, and orthotics. Although excellent treatment is available for Effexor limb defects, it can be extremely expensive, especially because it will likely be needed over a long period of time. An Effexor lawsuit is one way of making sure that your family can afford all of the best possible treatment for your child in order to provide them the greatest chance for recovery.
If your child was born with a birth injury (including arm and leg limb size reductions) and you believe Effexor (or other antidepressant) could be the cause, call the Willis Law Firm today. Our talented team of legal professionals can provide you with all of the information you will need to decide if an Effexor lawsuit is right for you. Currently our firm is accepting antidepressant birth defect cases on a national scale; all birth defect cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.