Effexor is a brand of Venlafaxine, a prescription antidepressant medication used in the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders since 1994. It is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), which means that it seeks to stabilize mood through augmenting levels of both serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. The United States Food and Drug Administration currently has Effexor classified as a pregnancy class C drug, meaning that possible risk to the fetus has not been ruled out. Recently, the National Birth Defects Prevention Study found that there is an association between taking Effexor while pregnant and several birth defects, including Coarctation of the Aorta. Another similar category of antidepressants called Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are also believed to potentially result in birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Popular SSRIs include: Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro, and Prozac.
Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is one of several congenital birth defects that can occur when an expectant mother takes Effexor or similar prescription antidepressants while pregnant. The word “coarctation” means narrowing, and this defect is present when part of the aorta tapers/contracts. Because this coarctation can take place in various parts of the aorta, there are 3 major types of this defect: preductal, ductal, and postductal coarctation. The associated symptoms of CoA correspond to the amount of blood that is able to stream through the aorta. Potential symptoms include: dizziness, headache, delayed growth, inability to exercise, and others. About 50% of infants born with this condition will display symptoms within their first days.
The treatment needed when a newborn displays Effexor CoA symptoms can be very pricey. Most infants will require surgery quickly following their birth as well as expensive medications in order to stabilize their condition. Another route of treatment called a “balloon angioplasty” is also an option, although it has a higher rate of failure. Despite surgery, Coarctation of the Aorta can also return later in life, and there is also an increased risk of lifelong heart problems. All of these potential expenses as well as emotional and physical suffering transpire as the result of Effexor Coarctation of the Aorta. These reasons prompt many families to pursue Effexor litigation, in order to help offset some of these challenges.
We understand that deciding to file an Effexor Coarctation of the Aorta is a complicated and potentially overwhelming process. If your child was born with a congenital heart defect or other birth defect after the mother took Effexor (or other antidepressant) during pregnancy, you may be eligible for Effexor litigation. Call the Willis Law Firm today, and your claim will be evaluated by a gifted team of legal professionals confidentially and free of charge. We are presently accepting Effexor Lawsuits on a national scale, so call and let us assist you today.