SALT LAKE CITY, April 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- Christian Delahunty blames Effexor for the September 2008 death of her six-week-old daughter Indiana. To those responsible for pushing Effexor on Christian and similar drugs on pregnant women across America, that may be "impossible" to prove.
Only with that mindset of denial could someone justify pushing for the passage of federal legislation called "The MOTHERS Act," which would increase the use of psychotropic drugs in pregnant and new mothers.
In 2007 Delahunty approached her doctor about whether she should stop taking Effexor because she wanted one more baby. He told her, "Oh no, you and the baby will be fine. There are no studies that prove that the Effexor is even transferred to the baby in utero or in the breast milk."
"Milk-to-plasma ratios" greater than 1 indicate that a medication is present in higher concentrations in breast milk than in maternal serum. Effexor's milk-to-plasma ratio has been observed at over 4.7 and is therefore not recommended for breastfeeding. Neonates cannot metabolize drugs as quickly as older babies or adults, they absorb more of the drug, and can have 10 to 30 times higher brain tissue concentrations than adults.
According to the Effexor label, animal studies of the drug during pregnancy and continuing through weaning resulted in an increase in stillborn pups, and an increase in pup deaths during the first five days of lactation. In a study of 150 pregnant women exposed to Effexor, 18 had miscarriages and seven had "therapeutic" abortions, while two of the babies had major malformations.
When Indiana was born, she had trouble breathing, scored low on her APGARs, and wouldn't cry. Indiana had to go to the NICU and returned to the doctor's office and hospital several times after going home for various health problems. Christian says Indiana was excessively sleepy and nearly impossible to feed.
On September 7, Christian nursed Indiana at 8 am and then put her down for a nap. Christian went back in at 10 and found she was not breathing.
Indiana was rushed to Children's Hospital by paramedics. The staff was finally able to revive her after 45 minutes and she spent the next five days on life support. But it was too late. Her brain had badly deteriorated. She died on September 13.