In order to treat depression, anxiety, OCD, and other mental illnesses, doctors will sometimes prescribe the drug Paxil (paroxetine), which is an antidepressant that is categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It was first introduced to the United States in 1992, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a pharmaceutical company. By 2007, Paxil had become the fifth most prescribed antidepressant.
Unfortunately, Paxil is one of a group of medications (like Zoloft) that can put the fetus at risk for developing birth defects or autism. While more links are being found between birth defects and antidepressants in general, research has found SSRIs to be the riskiest.
Not only is Paxil linked to developmental disorders to unborn children, the side effects can put the mother in danger as well. Some of the side effects reported have been:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Abnormal heart rate
As for the birth defects associated with Paxil use, those reported include:
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn
- Heart defects
- Cleft Palate or lip
- Respiratory Distress
Though the FDA had approved the use of Paxil back in 1992, it also issued a black box warning in 2004, linking the drug to suicide. Black box warnings are considered to be the most serious health warnings the FDA can administer on a drug’s packaging. A pediatrics group in the University of Montreal also published a report in 2015 that found pregnant mothers taking Paxil would have nearly twice the chance of having a baby with autism. With these developments in mind, parents have begun filing lawsuits against the GlaxoSmithKline company for not properly warning consumers of the risks involved.
Those who have experienced birth defects due to Paxil may be eligible for a claim against GlaxoSmithKline. The company has already paid billions to resolve withdrawal, suicide, and birth defect damage claims. It has also plead guilty to promoting Paxil for uses that were not approved by the FDA. A pharmaceutical attorney can help the family understand what they should pursue for the damages they have received from Paxil. After Personal Injury can help you contact a lawyer that will help you resolve your case.