Effexor®, a serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993.1 Even after FDA warnings in 2006, Effexor was one of the most prescribed drugs in America2; however, even before then, patients were complaining of problems with the antidepressant.
Serious risks and side effects of Effexor
Effexor, also known under its generic name of venlafaxine, works similar to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) drugs like Paxil® and Zoloft®. Effexor has been used to treat more than depression, phobias, panic disorders and anxiety-related conditions. Some doctors extended use for patients with nerve damage and pain.3
While the drug has benefits for some, it creates serious risks and side effects for others. Some of these serious risks and side effects4 linked to Effexor include:
- Birth defects5
- Anxiety and agitation
- High blood pressure
- Sexual dysfunction
- Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- Sleep problems
- Intestinal problems
- Weakness and fatigue
- Blurred vision
While class action and multi-district lawsuits regarding Zoloft and Paxil exist, Effexor lawsuits do not. Effexor was promoted as a drug safe and effective, even for pregnant women suffering from depression; however, studies proved that it increased the risk for serious birth defects.
There are no existing Effexor class action personal injury related lawsuits or settlements. Many of the general Effexor personal injury and product liability cases involve Effexor users who suffered adverse side effects, including suicidal thoughts and behaviors, withdrawal syndrome, effective drug use, and health impairments, such as hypertension.
Cases, however, are not limited to patient problems. In pregnant patients, the risk of serious birth defects became known and ultimately subject to litigation.
Birth defects linked to Effexor
There are thousands of known birth defects. The specific birth defects, developmental delays and other risks that may be linked to Effexor use include:
- Cleft lip and palate
- Heart defects
- Neural tube defect (anencephaly)
- Gastroschisis (hole in abdomen)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)8
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries from their or your use of Effexor, you may have a right to legal recovery. Contact an experienced class action lawyer for assistance with your case.