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Effexor Lawsuit Claims Antidepressant Caused Heart Birth Defects

Filed February 10th, 2012 Julie

Six attorneys filed what is believed to be the first birth defect lawsuit against the makers of Effexor, a popular antidepressant, in Philadelphia court on Thursday.

The plaintiffs in the case, Glenn and Lauren Boyer, allege the death of their infant daughter, Adelaide, was the direct result of Lauren’s use of the drug while she was pregnant. The child was born on February 11, 2010 with severe cardiac problems like severe left hypoplastic heart, a malformed aorta, no aortic value, a malformed mitral valve and other related conditions.

The complaint includes 16 individual counts against the defendants, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Inc., and Wolters Kluwer Health/United States, Inc. The suit alleges the companies were negligent and failed to warn the public about the risks associated with taking Effexor while pregnant. It also alleges that fraud and misrepresentation led to Adelaide Boyer’s death.

“The information that patients – especially women who are pregnant – receive about the medication that is prescribed to them is crucial,” said one attorney involved in the litigation. “This SNRI (seratonin and norepinephine reuptake inhibitor) drug was approved by the FDA in 1993, but the parties involved neglected to disclose the birth defect risks to physicians treating women of child-bearing age.”

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