Antidepressant drug venlafaxine, more commonly known by its brand name Effexor, has been available for the treatment of several different psychological disorders since it came out in the mid 1990’s. Effexor is available in both a normal and extended release format and used for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorders as well. As a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, Effexor supplements the levels of both of these neurotransmitters in an effort to stabilize mood disorders. Unfortunately, the neurotransmitter serotonin is believed to be a morphogen that can adversely affect both craniofacial and cardiac fetal development. For this reason, Effexor can be potentially dangerous is taken while pregnant and can result in several congenital heart defects, including Pulmonary Stenosis. Recent clinical research studying the association between antidepressants and birth defects has resulted in the increased filing of Effexor birth defect lawsuits by the victims of these defects.
The heart begins to form very early in a pregnancy, and cardiac development is very susceptible to environmental elements (like prescription medications); when a mother takes any medication during pregnancy, the baby is also exposed to the contents of the drugs. Prenatal exposure to Effexor can result in pulmonary stenosis, a condition in which the heart valves are not able to easily open for the permission of blood flow to the lungs. There are four types of Effexor pulmonary stenosis:
The severity of Pulmonary Stenosis is based on the degree to which the blood flow is restricted. While mild cases may exhibit few or no symptoms, pulmonary stenosis can worsen over time and potentially lead to complications over time.
Pulmonary stenosis is often discovered when a doctor recognizes a heart murmur or any of the following pulmonary stenosis symptoms: breathlessness, exhaustion, quick breathing, swelling (in feet, eyelids, face, stomach, or ankles), or infrequent urination. The condition is typically diagnosed by a pediatric cardiologist using on or more of the following tests: x-ray, catheterization, ECG/EKG, or an electrocardiogram. Treatment options also vary depending on severity of the defect and include: balloon dilation, valvectomy, valve replacement, valvotomy, patch enlargement, and others. Sometimes stabilization in an intensive care unit is necessary before any more permanent treatment options can be attempted. If born with Effexor Pulmonary Stenosis, your child will also require lifelong cardiac monitoring and care, as well as potential further surgeries.
If your child was born with Pulmonary Stenosis or other birth defect following exposure to an antidepressant medication (including Effexor) during pregnancy, you may want to file an Effexor Pulmonary Stenosis Lawsuit. Call the Willis Law Firm today, and we will help you explore this option by conducting a free and confidential lawsuit evaluation. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the companies behind these potentially dangerous drugs; call us today. Although primarily located in Houston, the Willis Law Firm is currently reviewing Effexor Birth Defect cases nationwide.