An Effexor lawsuit have been filed alleging severe side effects, including birth defects and suicidal tendencies, caused by the widely prescribed antidepressant medication. Effexor is noted by the FDA as having the potential for causing suicidal thoughts and behaviors, and more Effexor lawsuits are expected as patients experience injuries after taking the drug, bad drug attorneys note.
If you or a loved one took Effexor and gave birth to a child with birth defects, or suffered other serious side effects, contact Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we connect you with an affiliated Effexor lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What is Effexor?
Effexor is an antidepressant in a group of drugs called selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRIs). Effexor affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Effexor is used to treat major depressive disorder, anxiety, and panic disorder.
Manufactured by Pfizer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Effexor in pill form in 1993 for the treatment of depression, and in extended-release capsules, called Effexor XR, in 1997.
FDA Black-Box Suicide Warning
In 2004, the FDA issued a black-box warning for Effexor after studies found an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children, teenagers, and young adults taking Effexor. A black-box warning is the FDA’s strongest, and it requires drug manufacturers to include this warning in the labeling information for all SSRI and SNRI medications. These symptoms may include:
- Panic attacks
- Symptoms of aggression
- Thoughts of suicide
- Extreme worry
- Abnormal excitement
Effexor and Birth Defect Risks
Effexor lawsuits have been filed alleging that the drug caused serious and fatal birth defects. The Canadian Medical Association Journal published a study in 2010 on venlafaxine, the active ingredient in Effexor. The study suggested that the risk of miscarriage was double in women who took the drug during pregnancy. Effexor birth defects include:
- Craniosynostosis, which causes abnormal skull and brain growth
- Physical defects such as cleft lip and palate
- Respiratory distress
- Omphalocele (an abdominal defect that causes organs to protrude from the navel)
- Heart defects and malformations
- Anencephaly (the absence of parts of the brain and skull)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
The FDA warns pregnant women to weigh the risks and benefits of taking certain medications when they are pregnant. To convey this warning, a letter grade is assigned to prescription medications to denote their safety for use during pregnancy. Like most antidepressants, Effexor has been given a grade C. Drugs with this warning have been proven to harm laboratory animal babies when they are taken in high doses by the mother during pregnancy. SSRIs and SNRIs cannot be tested on human babies for ethical reasons, but birth defects have been noted in babies whose mothers took the antidepressants.
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe drugs. If there are risks of harm associated with their drugs, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Effexor may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Effexor, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects after taking Effexor, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Effexor lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
If you or a loved one suffered severe side effects after taking Effexor, contact Attorney Group for more information. When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.