The United States Food and Drug Administration has acknowledged that antidepressant drugs, like Effexor, may pose a risk of adverse affect when taken during pregnancy. Many SSRI and SNRI prescriptions are in “Pregnancy Category C” which means that in animal reproductive studies, these drugs have exhibited negative effects and that further research on humans is necessary. Another popular antidepressant, Paxil, was been moved to “Pregnancy Category D” in 2005 after research studies showed that it resulted in higher risks of birth defects, specifically congenital heart defects. One type of congenital heart defect linked to taking antidepressants during pregnancy is partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR). Having a child born with this defect after taking an antidepressant while pregnant prompts some women to file a lawsuit against its manufacturer, on the grounds that they were not sufficiently warned of these birth defect risks prior to taking the medication.
When one or more of the veins that carry blood from the lungs to the left atrium are attached to the right side of the heart instead, this is called partial anomalous pulmonary venous return. There are many variations of this Effexor congenital heart defect dependent upon exactly where these pulmonary veins attach on the right side. Common placements include: the right atrium, superior vena cava, and the inferior vena cava. The result of this physical “mix-up” is a lack of sufficiently oxygenated blood flowing throughout the body. Because it is a less severe defect than total anomalous pulmonary venous return, babies born with this defect may fail to exhibit symptoms until they are older children or even adults.
Some cases of Effexor partial anomalous pulmonary venous return result in no harmful symptoms and the baby can develop and live normally without needing any surgery or medication at all. However, the constant mixture of oxygen-deficient and oxygen-rich blood in the right atrium can negatively impact the effectiveness of the circulatory system, resulting in problems later in life. Surgery for Effexor PAPVR consists of the building of a passageway, or “patch,” to carry blood from the affected pulmonary vein to the left upper heart chamber. When partial anomalous pulmonary venous return goes undetected until adulthood it can manifest as the following symptoms: arrhythmias, trouble breathing during exercise, and sometime even heart failure and/or hypertension.
Was your child born with partial anomalous pulmonary venous return or other birth defect after exposure to Effexor or other antidepressant? If so, you may have a legal right to financial compensation through an Effexor lawsuit. Call the Willis Law Firm today, and we will provide you with a free initial consultation with no obligation. Currently, our firm is reviewing birth defect cases for the following antidepressants:
These drugs have been linked not only to partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR), but to many other serious birth disorders including autism spectrum disorders, cranial defects, and many others. Call us today and let us help you and your family get the compensation you deserve.