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Shezad Malik MD JD
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Texas Effexor Birth Defect Lawsuit Filed

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As a Texas Defective Drug Attorney and Medical Doctor, I am providing this update for folks who have been injured by Zoloft and Effexor. A Texas mother filed a product liability lawsuit against Pfizer. Mom alleged that her daughter was born with persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN), which she claims was caused by side effects of Effexor use during pregnancy.

The complaint was filed by Felicia Sherrill in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 10, alleging that her daughter suffers PPHN from Effexor.

According to Sherrill, Pfizer failed to adequately warn patients or the doctors about the risk of birth defects or congenital malformations that may occur if the antidepressant is used during pregnancy.

What is Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborn?

Sherrill’s daughter, was born in 2007 with persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn (PPHN). This is a potentially life-threatening cardio-pulmonary disease where the heart and lung blood vessels cause insufficient blood flow to the lungs.

What is Effexor?

Effexor (generic venlafaxine) is an antidepressant that was introduced in 1993 and has been sold to millions of Americans, generating in excess of $2 billion in sales per year.

Effexor is a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRIs), which are similar to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The two drug classes have many of the same side effects. Other SSRIs, like Zoloft, have also been linked to an increased risk of birth defects.

Sherrill claims that if she had been adequately warned about the Effexor pregnancy risks she enever would have taken the medication and her doctors would not have prescribed it.

MDL Centralization Pending

Recently, a motion was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) asking for the centralization of all birth defects lawsuits involving Effexor.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has scheduled to hear oral arguments on the motion at an upcoming hearing session to be held on July 25 in Portland, Maine. If an Effexor MDL is established, Sherrill’s lawsuit will likely be transferred into the coordinated proceedings.