Gastroschisis is a form of hernia that is present at birth and one of several birth defects linked to the prescription antidepressant Effexor in the August 2011 National Birth Defects Prevention Study. Other birth defects that showed a positive correlation with taking Effexor while pregnant include anencephaly, cleft palate, and several congenital heart defects. When an infant is born with gastroschisis, its intestines will protrude through an opening in the stomach wall next to the umbilical cord. Surgery is required for the treatment of this birth disorder; antibiotics and an IV may also be required in order to prevent an infection from forming. In some cases, gastroschisis can result in breathing complications because the contents of the stomach/intestines are misplaced. Needless to say, this is a very serious and distressing birth injury.
Venlafaxine, more commonly known by its brand-name “Effexor,” is a type of prescription drug used in the treatment of both anxiety and depressive disorders. It consistently ranks in the top 10 most popular antidepressants and in the years since its introduction has been prescribed to millions of patients. Effexor treats the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin in the brain in order to balance the mood irregularities that accompany these psychological conditions. Unfortunately, Effexor is believed to increase the risk of some birth defects when taken during pregnancy (especially in the last trimester.) There has been an increase in lawsuits filed against the producers of this and other similar medications recently in correspondence with an increase of medical research performed regarding the potential dangers of these drugs and their association with birth defects.
The United States Food and Drug Administration currently has Effexor (and several other commonly prescribed antidepressant medications) in “Pregnancy Category C.” Category C means that animal studies have been conducted on the drug, and that there has been evidence of harm to the fetus demonstrated in these animal studies. However, sufficient human research has not yet been concluded. Interestingly, Paxil, another popular prescription antidepressant, was moved to Category D classification in 2005. Category D drugs have exhibited threat/harm to human fetus. With further human-based research studies, it is entirely probable that Effexor may soon be placed in pregnancy Category D, along with Paxil.
When your child is born with Gastroschisis or other congenital defect, the first priority is securing medical treatment and stabilizing the health of the baby. Once this has been done, you may consider the filing of an Effexor birth defect lawsuit. If you believe your child was exposed to Effexor or other antidepressant during the course of pregnancy and this resulted in a serious birth defect, you may be eligible for Effexor litigation. Call the Willis Law Firm today and our devoted team of capable legal professionals will provide you with a no-obligation antidepressant case evaluation. Your information will be kept in confidence, and we will provide the answers to the legal questions you may have. We are currently representing Effexor Birth Defect clients across the nation on a contingency fee basis, meaning that no legal fees will be billed unless a successful recovery is obtained.