When pregnant women take the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) during pregnancy, it may increase their risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Over 50 lawsuits involving Effexor birth defects have already been filed.

What is Effexor?

Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant in the serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) class. It is a Pregnancy Category C drug, which means that it can potentially cause birth defects but pregnant women may still use Effexor if the benefits justify the risks.

In January 2013, a studies of Effexor during pregnancy found statistically significant increased risks of birth defects. These included birth defects of the heart, brain, face, skull, and abdomen, including:

Effexor Class Action Information

Lawsuits have already been filed by women who took Effexor during pregnancy and had a baby with a birth defect. However, they are not part of an Effexor class action. In August 2013, federal judges established a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) to centralize nine lawsuits involving Effexor birth defects. Less than a year later, over 50 lawsuits were centralized in the litigation. The MDL is located in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and is overseen by District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. She also presides over an MDL involving 500 Zoloft birth defect lawsuits.

About Class Actions

Class action lawsuits are beneficial when a large number of people have a similar legal claim, but no one is seeking a large amount of compensation — for example, when thousands of people buy a TV that was advertised with false or misleading statements. It wouldn’t make sense financially for everyone to file a lawsuit alone, so they file a class action and seek compensation on behalf of the whole group.