Effexor Autism Attorney

Effexor Linked to Autism by Medical Studies
Effexor is one of a class of drugs under scrutiny by members of the medical community for possibly posing an increased risk of developmental disorders in children exposed to the drug in utero. Particularly, Effexor has been linked with the onset of autism and other disorders on the autism disorder spectrum. These disorders cause marked developmental delays and difficulties in young children and many babies begin evincing symptoms of autism as early as 12 months of age.

In one study conducted by researchers in British Columbia, children exposed to drugs like Effexor are twice as likely to develop autism as those who were not exposed during gestation. This could suggest the strong likelihood of a causal link between Effexor and birth defects like autism. However, the FDA has not responded to the results of this study and Effexor is still without a warning label precluding women from taking the drug while pregnant.

Autism can range from mild to severe and affects all children differently. Other autistic disorders, known as ASD’s (autism spectrum disorders) include Rett Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder. While these conditions sound insurmountable, many children with mild forms are able to adequately perform in school and within social settings. However, many other children are not so lucky and require round-the-clock care and supervision by learning support staff, counselors and medical professionals.

What is an SSRI?
Effexor belongs to a class of drugs known as SSRI’s. This acronym stands for selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These drugs are designed to help those suffering from mild to severe depression and anxiety. Interestingly, autistic disorders are also connected with upsets in serotonin levels in the child’s brain. SSRI’s are commonly prescribed to patients for non-approved off-label uses as well, making their use widespread and uncontrolled.

Effexor is a Pfizer-marketed brand name of the drug Venlafaxine. Effexor is designed to treat major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Venlafaxine is a very popular anti-depressant and, as of 2007, over 17 million Americans were taking the drug for various reasons. Off-label conditions treated with Effexor include diabetic neuropathy, migraines and menopausal symptoms. Effexor is not approved for use in patients with bi-polar disorder and is not formulated to control mood swings.

All pregnant patients must be closely monitored, especially those patients with depression or anxiety conditions. Much research is currently devoted to the effects of SSRI’s on developing babies and it is becoming increasingly clear that the potential risk factors associated with prenatal exposure to SSRI’s cannot be ignored. Research suggests that babies exposed in the first trimester of pregnancy had an even higher chance of developing autism than those exposed only in the second and third trimesters – however all babies are at risk.

Know Your Rights
If you were prescribed Effexor during pregnancy, chances are you were not informed of the potential risk factors associated with the drug. Doctors have continued prescribing this drug to patients, even for off-label uses. Many mothers were not warned of the dangers of taking Effexor during pregnancy and this could contribute to an actionable claim by parents of children who developed autism after exposure.
If you are a parent who took Effexor during pregnancy and your child is exhibiting the signs of autism, you may be entitled to compensation. We are a national law firm dedicated to advocacy for parents struggling with this difficult situation.

Subscribe to Effexor Autism Attorney RSS