Data released by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study in August of 2011 suggests that the likelihood of a baby being born with the congenital heart defect tetralogy of fallot (TOF) increases by about 50% when the mother takes the antidepressant drug Effexor while pregnant. This study was compiled using over 27,000 cases compiled over a period of ten years from 1997-2007. What makes this information especially reliable is that any cases with lurking variables, such as diabetes and taking other antidepressant medications, were excluded from the study. This lends extra credibility to all of the associations found between Effexor and birth defects. Tetralogy of Fallot was only one in a list of Effexor birth and heart defects studied, and the NBDPS found associations between taking Effexor while pregnant and all of the following:
The word “tetralogy” is most commonly used as a literary term referring to a series of four connected works, and in the Effexor congenital heart defect Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) there are actually four related defects that comprise this condition. The four defects contributing to Effexor TOF are:
As with most congenital heart defects, the causes are believed to be genetic and environmental factors early in pregnancy; this is another reason why taking an antidepressant like Effexor during pregnancy (especially early in pregnancy) can pose an risk of birth defects, especially heart defects, to a developing fetus.
The symptoms of Effexor tetralogy of fallot are similar to many of the other congenital heart defects characterized by poor levels of oxygen in the blood. One of the most noticeable TOF symptoms is cyanosis, or a blue-purplish tint to the skin, especially when the infant is upset. Cyanosis is a visible indicator that the blood does not have enough oxygen and is still blue in color. A patient with Effexor TOF may also fail to eat and grow normally as well as have problems breathing or potential seizures later in life. Surgery is typically done while the baby is still very young in order to augment the flow of blood to the lungs; sometimes, additional surgeries are also needed.
If your child was born with a birth defect following prenatal exposure to Effexor (or Lexapro, Zoloft, Paxil, Prozac, or Celexa), an Effexor Tetralogy of Fallot Lawsuit may be the right course of action for you and your child. Call the Willis Law Firm today for your free antidepressant birth defect lawsuit consultation. We will answer any questions you have, free of cost and free of obligation; contact us immediately, so we can help you get the compensation you may be entitled to.