When a prescription medication is believed to be the cause of an injury, it is important to hold the company behind the drug responsible for the harm and injuries that it caused. Because the pharmaceutical companies are profit driven, filing a lawsuit against a drug company is often an excellent way to hold them accountable for the damages caused. Recently, several widely prescribed antidepressant and anxiety drugs have been connected to several very serious and life-altering birth defects. The August 2011 National Birth Defects Prevention Study found an association between prenatal ingestion of the SNRI antidepressant Effexor and a number of birth and congenital heart defects, including transposition of the great vessels (TGV). The data collected in this study suggests that the probability of a baby being born with TGV is doubled when the mother was prescribed Effexor during pregnancy. Other birth defects with high correlation coefficients with maternal use of Effexor include:
Transposition of the great vessels, or TGV, is a type of congenital heart defect that affects the circulation of oxygen rich blood throughout the body. In a normally functioning heart, blood is pumped to the lungs in order to be properly oxygenated before returning to the heart and being circulated throughout the rest of the body. However, when Effexor transposition of the great vessels is present, the main vessels of the heart (aorta, pulmonary artery, superior and/or inferior vena cavae, and pulmonary veins) are connected abnormally and this circulatory process is adversely affected. When TGV only affects the pulmonary artery and aorta, this condition is called transposition of the great arteries.
As a cyanotic heart defect, Effexor transposition of the great vessels is characterized by a lack of oxygen in the blood flowing from the heart to the other parts of the body. Cyanotic heart defects typically result in a bluish discoloration to the skin and breathing problems. Additionally, a baby born TGV may also have trouble eating/gaining weight or have clubbing of the toes and/or fingers. The treatment of this Effexor congenital heart defect begins with an IV administration of prostaglandin, a medicine that helps to open the ductus arteriosus to allow for the oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich bloods to mix. Within the first week of life, the baby will need surgery to switch the vessels back to their appropriate position. If the condition is not operated on, the baby will most likely only live a few months.
If your baby was born with transposition of the great vessles (or other birth defect) after the mother took an antidepressant medication while pregnant, you may be legally entitled to financial damages through an Effexor lawsuit. Call the Willis Law Firm today for a free birth defect case evaluation; our team is led by a board certified personal injury trial attorney with the highest peer review rating. Currently we are accepting birth defect clients nationwide for the following antidepressant medications: Effexor, Lexapro, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Celexa.