Antidepressant Studies

Effexor (Venlafaxine) Doubles Risk of Miscarriage in Pregnant Women

A new study has found that the risk of miscarriage is significantly higher in women who take SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and SNRI (serotonin-nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as Effexor, early in their pregnancies.Adding to the growing list of worries associated with antidepressants, a new study has found that the risk of miscarriage is significantly higher in women who take SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and SNRI (serotonin-nonrepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, such as Effexor, early in their pregnancies.

According to a May 31, 2010 study published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal by scientists at the University of Montreal, women who take antidepressants like Effexor, Lexapro, Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft during the first trimester of their pregnancy were significantly more likely to miscarry than women who did not take antidepressants. Researchers found that the risk associated with miscarriage was 68 percent higher in women who used the drugs. The researchers also found that Effexor was among the antidepressants which carried the highest risk.

Researchers took data from the Quebec Pregnancy Registry. They studied pregnancies since 1997 and compared women who miscarried in their 20th week with women who did not lose their babies early in the pregnancy. The results showed that the risk of miscarriage nearly doubled with the use of venlaxafine (Effexor). The data has led researchers to warn that the use of antidepressants, especially venlaxafine, should be used with extreme caution during pregnancy.

The miscarriages may be related to malformations of essential organs. Effexor birth defect attorney, Nicole Maldonado, represents many families whose children were born with birth defects to mother’s who took Effexor, venlafaxine or Pristiq during their pregnancies.  Her clients’ birth defects range from heart defects, lung defects, craniosynostosis (abnormally shaped skull), infant omphalocele (abdominal wall defects), club foot, and cleft lip and cleft palate.

According to Ms. Maldonado, whose law firm, Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, has represented more clients in antidepressant injury cases than any other law firm in the United States, said that, “Women who take antidepressants like Effexor while pregnant are unknowingly putting their unborn babies at risk.  Instead of experiencing the normal joys of child rearing, my clients are trying to save their babies lives.”

Venlafaxine has also been shown to increase the risk of developmental delays in babies.

Antidepressants such as Effexor and Pristiq may cause birth defects in newborns.  According to information which has been emerging since 2005, data from various international studies show that some antidepressants may cause birth defects.  The FDA has issued warnings about SSRI antidepressants since 2005, and their capability of causing birth defects.

Summary Information

Title

Use of antidepressants during pregnancy and the riskof spontaneous abortion

Authors

Hamid Reza Nakhai-Pour MD PhD, Perrine Broy BSc, AnickBérard PhD.  From the Faculty of Pharmacy (Nakhai-Pour, Bérard), University of Montreal, Montréal, Que.; Centre hospitalieruniversitaire Sainte-Justine (Nakhai-Pour, Broy, Bérard), University of Montreal, Montréal, Que.; Écolenationale de lastatistiqueet de l’analyse de l’information (Broy), Rennes, France

Journal

Canadian Medical Association Journal,  July 13, 2010, 182:1031-1037; published ahead of print May 31, 2010.

Funding:

This study was supported by the FRSQ and the Réseauquébécois de recherchesurl’utilisation du médicament (RQRUM). The sponsors had no role in the design of the study, the analysis or interpretation of the data, or the writing of the manuscript.