Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an antidepressant medication that is used to treat depression, anxiety, panic, and other mood disorders. Unfortunately, using Pristiq during pregnancy may increase your risk of having a baby with a heart defect. If you are concerned that Pristiq may have caused your baby’s heart defect, contact a lawyer at The Clark Firm, LLP today.
Do I Have a Pristiq Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured after taking Pristiq, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Pristiq lawsuit.
What is Pristiq?
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is an antidepressant medication in the SNRI class (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor). Pristiq was approved by the FDA in February 2008 to treat major depressive disorder in adults.
Pristiq is classified as a Pregnancy Category C drug. Doctors are allowed to prescribe Pristiq to pregnant women, even though studies of Pristiq in animals have linked it to low birth weight and fetal death. Unfortunately, no studies have been conducted of Pristiq in pregnant women.
SSRI Antidepressants and SNRI Antidepressants
Pristiq is a drug in the SNRI class (Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibtor). It treats depression and mood disorders by influencing levels of serotonin and norepinephrine — much like another class of antidepressants known as SSRIs (Selective-Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors).
SSRIs (such as Prozac) have existed longer, are more widely used, and are more well-studied than SNRI antidepressants like Pristiq. However, it is possible that the birth defects associated with SSRIs are also associated with SNRIs. This is because both classes of drugs influence serotonin and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play an important role during fetal development.
Studies of Pristiq and Heart Defects
More than a dozen studies have linked the use of antidepressants during pregnancy to an increased risk of birth defects.
At first, it may not make sense why an antidepressant could be associated with birth defects. According to this study, published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology on December 2011, serotonin plays an important role during fetal development — especially heart development. Any medication that influences serotonin in a developing fetus could potentially cause a heart defect.
“Serotonin may be particularly important for heart development and evidence suggests that from the time that progenitor heart cells are patterned during the establishment of laterality, to formation of the outflow tract, to myocardial cell differentiation, to septation of the heart chambers, the neurotransmitter may act as an important signaling molecule.”
Pristiq and Heart Defects
Using Pristiq or another antidepressant during pregnancy may increase your risk of having a baby with the following types of heart defects:
- Aortic stenosis
- Atrial septal defects
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Ebstein’s Anomaly
- Heart murmurs
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Heart valve defects
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus
- Pulmonary atresia
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the Great Vessels or Arteries
- Truncus arteriosus
- Ventricular septal defects
- And more
Do I have a Pristiq Lawsuit?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $60 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact us for a free Pristiq lawsuit review.