Over the past two decades, a number of scientific studies have demonstrated that exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) can have adverse effects on a developing fetus.  Here, I’ll reference a pair of European studies that cite these adverse effects.

First, an article titled “[Withdrawal symptoms in a neonate following exposure to venlafaxine during pregnancy].” published in July, 2003 in a Dutch medical journal by R.A. de Moor et al.  These researchers presented a case study, wherein, “Withdrawal symptoms occurred in a male neonate after maternal use of venlafaxine for depression during pregnancy.”  For clarity, venlafaxine is the chemical name for Effexor, a popular antidepressant.

The team found that symptoms included “restlessness, hypertonia, jitteriness, irritability and poor feeding. The diagnosis was confirmed by a temporary improvement after administration of a low dose (1 mg) of venlafaxine to the boy. Eventually the symptoms began to decline spontaneously, and ceased after 8 days.”

As such, it was concluded that, “Exposure to venlafaxine and other antidepressants which inhibit serotonin reuptake during the third trimester of pregnancy carries the risk of a neonatal withdrawal syndrome.”

Next, a study from a team of Swiss researchers led by M. Treichel titled, “Is there a correlation between venlafaxine therapy during pregnancy and a higher incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis?” appearing in the February, 2009 edition of World Journal of Pediatrics studied a correlation between necrotizing enterocolitis  and prenatal exposure to SSRI drugs.  Necrotizing enterocolitis is “the death of intestinal tissue. It most often affects premature or sick babies.”

These researchers write, “Novel antidepressant drugs are increasingly used by women of child bearing age” at the outset of their presentation of a harmed child and literature review: “We present preterm twins whose mother was treated with venlafaxine, a nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, throughout pregnancy until delivery. The twins developed neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis.”

Due to the fact that a number of women have used SSRI drugs unaware of the risk for adverse birth outcomes and congenital malformation, a number of SSRI birth defect lawsuits and Effexor® birth defects lawsuits have been filed.

If you or a loved one used Effexor and gave birth to a child with a congenital malformation, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation.  For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Effexor® birth defects lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.  Call today and see how we can help.

(855) 452 – 5529


Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.