Since its introduction to the pharmaceutical market in the mid-1990’s, the antidepressant medication Effexor has consistently been a top choice for mental health professionals in the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders. Effexor is an SNRI, which means that it targets the levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine, two substances found in the brain that relate to mood. Currently, Effexor (and many other antidepressants) are categorized as “Pregnancy Category C,” which means that they are available for prescription to pregnant women if the benefit to the mother is thought to outweigh potential harm to the developing child. Unfortunately, the National Birth Defects Prevention Study has discovered some shocking associations between taking Effexor while pregnant and a wide array of serious birth defects, including cleft palate. As a result, Effexor and the company producing it have become the target of numerous lawsuits that allege they should have known about these risks and failed to properly warn consumers.
When the roof of the mouth fails to properly form prior to birth, the result is an orofacial birth defect called cleft palate. In August 2011, the National Birth Defects Prevention Study released data indicating that the risk of having a child born with cleft palate was increased 2.9 times when the mother took Effexor during the first trimester. This corresponds with information provided by The Center for Disease Control (CDC) stating that the cause for cleft palate is “a combination of genes and other factors, such as exposures in the environment, maternal diet, and medication use.”
When a child is born with Effexor cleft palate, they are highly likely to have trouble with both eating and speaking. Other problems that are likely to occur include: ear infections/hearing loss as well as issues with their teeth. As a result, many children require treatment with what is called “Cleft Teams.” First, the Effexor cleft palate will likely be repaired with surgery within the first year and a half of life in order to fix the appearance of the face as well as breathing, speech, and hearing. Dental work may also be necessary. Although treatment is available, Effexor cleft palate can be expensive to treat because of all the facets involved. A lawsuit is one potential way to be compensated for these various medical expenses.
Was your child born with a cleft palate that could have been the result of Effexor taken while pregnant? If so call the Willis Law Firm immediately for an antidepressant birth defect lawsuit review. Taking Effexor while pregnant has been linked to many birth defects ranging from congenital heart defects to arm/leg defects to autism spectrum disorders. If your child was born with any serious birth defect following antidepressant exposure during pregnancy, you may be legally entitled to financial compensation. Do not wait and call the Willis Law Firm today.
We are also currently accepting clients who had a child born with a birth defect following taking these other antidepressant medications while pregnant: