Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant that tretes panic attacks, anxiety, or bouts of depression. Unfortunately, recent studies suggest that women who take Effexor while pregnant may increase the risk of their child developing a severe, life-threatening congenital birth defect.

UPDATE: Dozens of Effexor Lawsuits Dismissed from MDL

January 28, 2015 — Lawyers are asking U.S. District Judge Cyntha Rufe to dismiss 26 out of 68 lawsuits involving birth defects allegedly caused by the antidepressant Effexor. Click here to read more.

November 18, 2014 — For the second time this year, Sun Pharmaceuticals has recalled generic Effexor (venlafaxine) because the pills may not dissolve properly. Click here to read more.

June 17, 2014 — U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe has ordered that the first “bellwether” trials involving Effexor and birth defects will begin no later than November 2, 2015. Click here to read more.

June 5, 2014 — Pfizer and Wyeth have been hit with a lawsuit (PDF) from a couple in North Carolina who claim that Effexor caused their son to be born with a number of serious birth defects, including Complex Total Anomalous Venous Return, Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), Optic Nerve Atrophy, and more. Click here to read more.

March 7, 2014 — Certain bottles of the antidepressant Effexor (venlafaxine) have been recalled because they may contain capsules of Tikosyn (defetilide), a drug used to treat atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm). Patients who accidentally take Effexor and Tikosyn could suffer a life-threatening or fatal cardiovascular event. Click here to read more.

August 8, 2013 — At least 9 Effexor birth defect lawsuits in 5 U.S. District Courts have been centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, before Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. Click here to read more.

July 25, 2013 — A woman from Utah has filed an Effexor birth defect lawsuit after her child was born with severe congenital abnormalities. Click here to read more.

January 7, 2013 — A recent study has linked the use of Effexor during pregnancy to an increased risk of birth defects affecting the heart, brain, skull, abdomen, and face. These defects include anencephaly, atrial septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, gastroschisis, and cleft palate. Click here to read more.

Effexor Overview

Effexor, typically prescribed in the treatment of depression, may be linked to severe complications. Pregnant women who take Effexor may put their child at a greater risk for developing a congenital birth defect. As a result of these findings, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning in 2006 regarding the side effects of Effexor. The warning claimed that Effexor had been linked to an increased risk of serious congenital birth defects in infants whose mothers were using the drug while the child was still in utero.

Effexor Class Action Lawsuit Information

Over 50 women have filed Effexor lawsuits for their child’s birth defect. However, these are not part of an Effexor class action. Instead, they are individual lawsuits. In August 2013, the litigation was centralized in a federal district court in Illinois, under Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. This court is also home to the Zoloft birth defect litigation, which involves over 500 lawsuits.


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