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Real People, Real Effexor Birth Defect Concerns

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Chicago, ILThe emotion that exudes from the words of real people impacted by the dark side of Effexor remains far more palpable than dry statistics suggesting Effexor birth defects from the antidepressant venlafaxine. Real people, with real stories to tell about the Effexor side effects that visited them like an unwelcome guest.

Judging from the postings on ehealthforum.com, many women are getting conflicting signals from their respective doctors and health care givers. Those opinions appear to range from ambivalence about Effexor, to a pointed position that a woman should not take any medication of any kind while pregnant.

Such was the conundrum felt by an expectant mother who posted in ehealthforum with regard to her pregnancy and Effexor, a medication she had been taking for about seven months to treat symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She noted that the serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) had done wonders for her PTSD symptoms, but she was afraid for her baby.

Her doctor told her there wasn't enough information about Effexor and pregnancy, and thus urged the pregnant patient to keep taking it.

Various responses urged the author not to worry about it, that her doctor knew what was best.

But there were dissenters amongst the respondents—and some with very compelling reasons to offer dissent with regard to Effexor venlafaxine.

Lishabray613 wrote, "I am on effexor and 28 weeks pregnant... My baby now shows signs of an enlarged heart valve. I started taking [Effexor] two years ago after my first son. Every woman is different but it's best to get a second opinion from a [medical] professional. Good luck!"

My2gurlz81 was more direct.

"Please, please, please...if you are on Effexor start tapering off and stop taking it all together!! [sic]. I was on Effexor prior to and during my entire pregnancy...and our daughter was born with a birth defect called Pulmonary Valve Stenosis. She was in the NICU for quite some time, and now at five months old is still seeing a Cardiologist to determine what will need to happen to repair the valve. I recently contacted a law firm…and plan to do whatever necessary to make sure other women out there receive the TRUTH (author emphasis) about this medication!!"

And then there was HMT2011, who weighed in about Effexor side effects and her pregnancy. She wrote that Effexor was part of her life for three years, although the author indicated success at reducing her dose to 37.5 mg every 2nd day. Even so, when the woman became pregnant she was told to stop taking Effexor altogether.

In the end, HMT2011 suffered a miscarriage at 11 weeks. She writes that her doctor suggested the miscarriage was probably due to Effexor.

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