Symbyax is a combination of fluoxentine and olanzapine. This drug is prescribed to treat depression caused by bipolar disorder. Fluoxentine is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) that works as an antidepressant, while olanzapine is an antipsychotic medication. Symbyax was approved by the FDA in 2003 and is manufactured by Eli Lilly Co.

Symbyax and many other antidepressants have been linked to birth defects in newborns whose mothers used the drug while pregnant. Doctors have even prescribed Symbyax to pregnant women to deal with the anxiety of pregnancy.

Taking antidepressants while pregnant have been linked to atrial septal defects, ventricular septal defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn, and other serious issues. Some infants have been born with abdominal wall defects, where their organs stick out of their belly buttons. Other skeletal abnormalities have been noted as well.

Women who are pregnant have now been warned that taking Symbyax while pregnant could cause serious side effects and birth defects to their child.

Serious side effects may include:

  • Sudden and severe headache, chest pain, numbness, and problems with vision, speech, or balance
  • Increased thirst, frequent urination, excessive hunger, or weakness
  • Agitation, hallucinations, fever, fast heart rate, overactive reflexes, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of coordination
  • Very stiff (rigid) muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out
  • Jerky muscle movements you cannot control, seizure (convulsions)
  • Feeling very thirsty or hot, being unable to urinate, heavy sweating, or hot and dry skin;
  • Flu symptoms, easy bruising, sores in your mouth and throat
  • Seizure (convulsions)
  • Nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Less serious Symbyax side effects may include:

  • Dry mouth, increased appetite, weight gain
  • Feeling drowsy or tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Swelling in your hands or feet
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