What is Pristiq?
Pristiq (desvenlafaxine) is a medication that is used to treat depression and anxiety. It is manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (now part of Pfizer Inc.) and it was approved for sale in the United States in 2008, making it one of the newest antidepressants on the market.
Pristiq and Pregnancy
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies Pristiq as “Pregnancy Category C,” which means that studies in animals have shown a possible increased risk of birth defects, but no adequate and well-controlled studies have been conducted in humans. Doctors are allowed to prescribe Pristiq to a pregnant woman “only if the potential benefits justify the potential risks.”
The FDA requires the following warning about the risk of withdrawal in newborns who were exposed to Pristiq during the third trimester:
“Neonates exposed to SNRIs (Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors), or SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), late in the third trimester have developed complications requiring prolonged hospitalization, respiratory support, and tube feeding. Such complications can arise immediately upon delivery.”
Pristiq and Effexor
The active drug in Pristiq, desvenlafaxine, is a metabolite of venlafaxine, sold under the brand-name Effexor. This means Pristiq and Effexor are nearly identical, with a very similar risk of side effects. Both drugs are manufactured by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, and they are both serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressants.
Pristiq and Birth Defects
Unfortunately, studies linking Effexor and birth defects may also apply to Pristiq. Several studies have shown that Effexor increases the risk of miscarriage and premature birth. In January 2012, a study published in Birth Defects Research found an increased risk of many birth defects, including anencephaly, atrial septal defect (ASD), coarctation of the aorta, cleft palate, and gastroschisis. In addition, studies of other antidepressants (Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil, etc.) have clearly demonstrated an increased risk of birth defects.
Pristiq and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
In 2006, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that infants exposed to antidepressants during development were six-times more likely to develop Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). This life-threatening lung defect occurs when a baby fails to breathe independently after it is born, which causes death in about 10% of cases.
Pristiq Birth Defects
- Heart defects
- Atrial Septal Defect
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Neural tube defects
- Spina bifida
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Diaphragmatic Hernia
- Neonatal withdrawal syndrome
- And more
Do I have an Pristiq Class Action Lawsuit?
The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Pristiq lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Pristiq Class Action Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one had a baby with a birth defect caused by Pristiq, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by joining a Pristiq class action lawsuit, or filing a Pristiq lawsuit and our lawyers can help.