Latin for “split spine,” spina bifida is a type of birth defect that happens when the backbone and the spinal canal fail to completely close prior to birth; it is also one of several congenital disorders linked to taking the antidepressant drug Effexor while pregnant by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. According to the NBDPS findings released in August of 2011, twice as many infants as were expected exhibited spina bifida. Other Effexor birth defects, in addition to spina bifida, explored in this Effexor study included:
Typically within the first four weeks of fetal development, the sides of the backbone fuse for the purpose of covering the sensitive nerves and tissues of the spinal cord. When this does not occur, the result is myelomeningocele, more commonly known as spina bifida or “cleft spine.” While there are multiple potential causes of this neural tube defect, environmental factors, including prenatal use of Effexor, are believed to play a role in some cases. Other antidepressant drugs that have been associated with spina bifida include: Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, Lexapro, and Celexa. While this defect is easily observed at birth, it can also be detected through prenatal screening.
When a child is born with Effexor Spina Bifida there is a heightened risk of other congenital defects being present. Around ninety percent of children with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus; many exhibit other spinal/musculoskeletal disorders as well. Commonly reported symptoms of Effexor spina bifida include: loss of bladder/bowel control, partial or complete loss of sensation, potential paralysis of the legs, club foot, hair in sacral area, hydrocephalus (excess fluid in skull), and others. After birth, surgery can be performed to correct the defect. However, prior to surgery, the infant must be handled extremely carefully in order to minimize any damage to exposed parts of the spinal cord. Antibiotics are also highly recommended in order to ward off associated infections. Although this condition is surgically treatable, it is important to note that much of the associated neurological damage is unfortunately irreversible. Further problems and complications can also set in later in life, especially during puberty. It is not uncommon for spina bifida patients to require the use of a wheelchair throughout life.
If your child was exposed to Effexor during pregnancy and born with spina bifida or other birth defect, you may be a viable candidate for an Effexor Spina Bifida Lawsuit. Call the Willis Law Firm today and we will conduct an initial case review, free of charge and completely confidentially. Filing an Effexor spina bifida lawsuit can provide valuable financial aid in the lifelong treatment of this serious birth defect. Call the Willis Law Firm today, and we will provide you with the answers you need in pursuing this path. We are currently accepting antidepressant birth defect lawsuits in all 50 states on a contingency fee basis; you will not be responsible for any legal fees unless a successful recovery is made.