Pristiq Birth Defects

The birth defects allegedly linked to Pristiq, including PPHN, may cause life-altering consequences for patients. Consult a Pristiq attorney to discuss your legal options.

Despite the popularity of the antidepressant Pristiq, the medication may no longer be acceptable in the treatment of pregnant women, in light of its potential connection to life-altering birth defects among children. Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) was approved by the FDA in 2008 for the treatment of major depressive disorder, and is currently manufactured by drug company Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which is a division of Pfizer, Inc. Pristiq is considered a new generation antidepressant drug, and is the synthetic form of the antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor). Pristiq belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called SNRIs, or serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, which function by preventing the reuptake of the two neurotransmitters in the brain. By doing so, Pristiq and other antidepressants can effectively relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Unfortunately, in light of Pristiq side effect studies, the antidepressant may no longer be considered safe when used during pregnancy. If you took Pristiq while pregnant and your child was born with a major alleged Pristiq birth defect like PPHN, contact a Pristiq attorney for help.

Alleged Pristiq Birth Defects

According to recent research, the antidepressant Pristiq may be associated with the development of the birth defect PPHN among children. PPHN, or persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, is a devastating heart and lung defect in which a child's circulation bypasses the lungs after birth. This malformation prevents an adequate amount of oxygen from reaching the body's vital organs and tissues, potentially leading to life-threatening complications like heart failure, kidney failure, seizures, brain hemorrhages, mass organ damage and death. Children born with PPHN typically exhibit symptoms like respiratory distress, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing and cyanosis (bluish tint to the skin), and their heart will begin to fail shortly after birth.

FDA Warnings for Potential Pristiq Birth Defects

In 2006, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers found a shocking six-fold increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn among children whose mothers took certain antidepressant drugs during the third trimester of pregnancy. According to researchers, up to twelve out of 1,000 exposed infants involved in the study were born with PPHN, compared to the expected rate among the general population, which is one to two infants out of 1,000. In response to this study, the FDA issued a public health advisory that same year, warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of PPHN among children exposed to certain antidepressant drugs in pregnancy.

Pristiq Use in Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Pristiq as a pregnancy category C medication, which means it has the potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Pristiq and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your physician to discuss alternative treatment options. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause serious harm to you or your child. However, with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer way to treat your condition.

Pristiq Attorneys for Birth Defects

PPHN is a catastrophic birth defect which can lead to serious complications for affected children, and even death. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect which you believe to be linked to Pristiq, contact a Pristiq attorney for legal guidance. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a Pristiq lawsuit against Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (Pfizer). You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. Drug companies like Wyeth (Pfizer) are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. With the help of an experienced Pristiq lawyer, victims of potential Pristiq birth defects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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