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Effexor: Understanding the Allegations & Lawsuits

Effexor (and its generic form, venlafaxine) is a popular serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) that is used to treat depression and anxiety. The drug was developed to help patients maintain a stable level of serotonin and norepinephrine. Wyeth released this drug, the first of its kind, to the market in the early 1990s. While this SNRI is approved to treat four specific mental health issues, doctors have been prescribing it to patients suffering from migraines, diabetic neuropathy, and menopause.

The FDA approved Effexor as a treatment option for the following mental health disorders:

  • Major depressive disorder (MDD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Panic disorder (PD)

However, Effexor has also been linked to potentially life-threatening side effects, including birth defects, suicidal thoughts, and serotonin syndrome. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has consequently issued a “black-box warning” to warn potential patients that Effexor can increase suicidal thoughts and behaviors in people under the age of 24. This hasn’t stopped doctors from prescribing this drug to children, even though the FDA has not approved Effexor for use in pediatric or adolescent populations.

The following side effects have been linked to Effexor:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • Heart rhythm changes
  • Angle-closure glaucoma
  • Aggressive mood swings
  • Discontinuation syndrome

Effexor can also lead to spontaneous miscarriages and the following birth defects:

  • Aortic stenosis
  • Heart murmurs
  • Respiratory distress
  • Malformed aorta
  • Ventricular septal defects
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Anencephaly
  • Spina bifida
  • Omphalocele
  • Gastroschisis

Pfizer, an American pharmaceutical corporation, acquired Wyeth in 2009 and quickly became the target of countless Effexor lawsuits. Four years later, the U.S. Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated the pending lawsuits to streamline the discovery process.

The complaints filed against Wyeth and Pfizer aim to hold the companies accountable for:

  • Failing to warn users about the health risks associated with Effexor.
  • Committing breach of express and implied warranties.
  • Falsely advertising the product.
  • Committing fraud.
  • Failing to properly conduct drug safety trials.
  • Marketing a defective product.

Have You Been Harmed by a Dangerous Drug?

Despite being the source of countless personal injury and wrongful death claims, Effexor remains one of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants in the United States. If you’ve experienced life-threatening side effects after using Effexor or an “off label” generic brand, contact the dangerous drug lawyers at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC. Our trial-tested legal team has represented countless clients who have suffered injuries and medical complications after using SSRIs and SNRIs.

Contact Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 to schedule a free consultation today.