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Effexor (venlafaxine) is an antidepressant medication manufactured by Wyeth (now Pfizer). Introduced in 1997, the drug is prescribed to treat major depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorders.

However, Effexor is similar to SSRIs in that there are significant risks when taking the antidepressant.

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Link Between Suicidality and Antidepressant Drugs

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that all antidepressant medications include a warning regarding the increased risk of suicidality. Like its SNRI and SSRI equals, Effexor has been linked to an increase in suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in children, adolescents, and young adults.

People taking Effexor are urged to watch for new or sudden changes in mood, behavior, actions, or thoughts. Changes often occur during the beginning of an Effexor regimen or if the dosage was changed.

Effexor, SSRIs, and Serotonin Syndrome

Another similarity among antidepressant drugs is the increased risk of developing serotonin syndrome. This condition is caused by an abundance of serotonin in the brain, which can lead to severe and potentially fatal symptoms, including:

  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Shivering
  • High blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

Birth Defects Linked to Effexor and Antidepressant Medications

Effexor is no different than other SNRIs or SSRIs in that they have been linked to an increased risk of birth defects in newborns of women who took the drugs during pregnancy. In addition, newborns may experience a direct toxic effect from the antidepressants, through drug discontinuation syndrome, or from serotonin syndrome. Studies have suggested that taking antidepressants especially in the third trimester can have serious negative effects on the child.

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A tort is a civil wrongful act committed by a person or company that results in harm to another person. A mass tort is when multiple victims are injured by the same single tort.
A court will consider if a mass tort lawsuit is permissible by determining:
  • whether a large number of plaintiffs are involved
  • whether the plaintiffs are located near or far from each other;
  • whether the injuries sustained are similar among the plaintiffs;
  • whether the claims arose from the same cause (defective toy, car part, oil spill, etc.)
  • Defective products, such as car parts, toys, or other consumer goods.
  • Pharmaceutical drugs, such as those that are later linked to severe or fatal health consequences
  • Environmental hazards, such as polluted water sources contaminated by nearby industrial sites or an oil leak.
Thousands of lawsuits across the country may be filed with a mass tort. These lawsuits are filed in numerous federal district courts. In a mass tort, federal judges will consolidate the thousands of lawsuits into a single proceeding. One judge in a single federal district court will oversee litigation, allowing for consistent rulings and a more expeditious process for the plaintiffs.
In a mass tort, each plaintiff (injured person) has an individual claim resulting from their unique damages. In a class action, many plaintiffs are considered collectively. Similarly, in a mass tort, each individual's claim "value" is unique to the severity of their injuries. In a class action, plaintiffs generally suffer injuries of similar severity, resulting in the same amount of compensation value.
If you have been injured or suffered illness due to a recalled drug, having an expert witnesses can be essential to proving your claim. Thomas J. Henry has spent decades building professional relationships with leading experts including:
  • Pharmacologists
  • Toxicologists
  • Regulatory Compliance Consultants
  • Forensic toxicologists
  • Drug Injury Causation Experts
  • Biomechanics

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No matter the injury or the accident, if you or a loved one were harmed due to the negligence of an individual or company, Thomas J. Henry is here to assist you.

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