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Will Paxil Settlements Affect Potential Effexor Lawsuits?

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Seattle, WANow that certain Paxil lawsuits have been settled, the question remains as to whether those settlements will have an effect on potential Effexor lawsuits. Although Paxil and Effexor are similar, there are some important differences between the two that make it impossible to determine for sure if Effexor plaintiffs will reach the same result in their potential lawsuits as Paxil plaintiffs.

Effexor is in a class of drugs called serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), which work by increasing the amount of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain. In contrast, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) only affect levels of serotonin.

Some of the side effects of SSRIs and SSNIs are similar, including a reported increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a potentially fatal condition in which the infant does not have properly oxygenated blood.

Because of the similarities between the medications, some Effexor plaintiffs might now be hopeful that a Paxil settlement will translate to an Effexor settlement. In July 2010, GlaxoSmithKline announced that it settled certain lawsuits alleging that Paxil caused birth defects in babies who were exposed to the antidepressant prior to birth.

Also in July 2010, Bloomberg reported that GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle more than 800 cases alleging Paxil caused birth defects. GlaxoSmithKline did not comment on the Bloomberg report.

Effexor is manufactured by Wyeth, now part of Pfizer.

Women who are taking antidepressants and are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant should not discontinue medication without first speaking to their doctor. Although there are reportedly side effects linked to use of Effexor while pregnant, studies also suggest there are risks linked to having untreated depression while pregnant.


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Posted by

Good Morning:
As a healthy military member, I was given Effexor and Paxil for depression and premenstral dyphoric disorder. I know have been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension where as, I have never had breathing problems before. What are the chances that I could have (as an adult), obtained this medical problem from taking Effexor and Paxil?

Thank you.

Shelley Watson....Retired, 100% Disabled, Military member for 20 years.


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