Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant medication typically used in the treatment of anxiety, panic attacks and major depressive disorders. Unfortunately, Effexor has also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects in newborns when taken by their mothers during pregnancy.
Effexor (venlafaxine), first introduced to the U.S. market in 1993 by Wyeth pharmaceutical company, is licensed for the treatment of major depressive disorder. Effexor belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), and is designed to act on chemicals in the brain to prevent them from becoming unbalanced. As a result, Effexor is able to alleviate depressive tendencies.
However, Effexor has recently been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects in newborns whose mothers took the medication while pregnant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public warning in July 2006 that acknowledged the dangers associated with taking antidepressants like Effexor during pregnancy. Effexor side effects have been linked to an increased risk of congenital birth defects in children.