Babies are at an increased risk of being born with congenital heart problems if their mothers had taken Effexor while pregnant. Lawsuits accuse Pfizer of failing to properly warn the public and healthcare professionals of the heart risks and other birth defects commonly linked to Effexor. It was last month that the group of lawsuits were removed from California state court to the federal court system. The complaints specifically state that “the effects of Effexor use during pregnancy caused children to develop septal heart defects and other severe health problems, resulting in life-long disabilities that may ultimately prove life-threatening for some of the children,” according to an article posted on aboutlawsuits.com.
“Defendants knew through animal and post-marketing reports that Effexor was associated with a significant increased risk of cardiac defects in babies whose mothers ingested Effexor during pregnancy,” the article continues. “Other studies showed increased levels of serotonin, the primary human substance affected by Effexor, had profound effects on the pre-natal development of study animals.”
The plaintiffs are also accusing Pfizer of using an aggressive and fraudulent marketing practice when they promoted Effexor as a safe drug to take during pregnancy. Effexor can also cause other serious side effects including violent and suicidal thoughts and behavior. As for the other birth defects linked to Effexor, those include PPHN, oral clefts, neural tube defects and spina bifida. In general, SSRIs like Effexor can often worsen a person’s condition rather than help them, and the price of these medications can be very high when used for long periods of time.