Paxil Side Effects

Paxil – Side Effects Include Risk of Birth Defects

Paxil is a widely prescribed medication for treating clinical depression in children and adults. It has also been approved by the FDA to treat other psychiatric conditions. Research studies have linked Paxil to major birth defects.

One study of more than 3,500 pregnant women showed that women who took Paxil were twice as likely to have a baby with defects as women on other antidepressants or in the general population. Another study established a link between Paxil and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN), a life-threatening condition characterized by holes in the walls of the heart.

As a result of the growing evidence of adverse consequences from Paxil use, the FDA has requested changes to the labeling information on pregnancy precautions that accompany the drug.

If you took Paxil while pregnant and your child has a heart defect or suffers from insomnia, excessive agitation or feeding problems, please contact The Driscoll Firm, LLC, at 314-932-3232 for a free consultation regarding your legal rights, including the possibility of a lawsuit to obtain compensation. It is not too late to get the help you and your child need.

Side Effects of Paxil

In 2006, an FDA Alert warned the public of the heightened risk of birth defects when mothers take Paxil during pregnancy. Most of the defects were heart related, according to medical studies. The most common heart malformations were ventricular septal defects, which are holes between the heart’s two main pumping chambers.

Other reported adverse effects in infants born to mothers who took Paxil:

  • Premature birth
  • Difficulties with breathing
  • Turning blue
  • Seizures
  • Changing body temperature
  • Feeding problems
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood sugar
  • Floppiness
  • Stiffness
  • Tremor
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability
  • Constant crying.

A report in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that infants born to mothers who took Paxil after the completion of the twentieth week of gestation were six times more likely to have Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns (PPHN) than those born to women who did not take Paxil. PPHN constricts the blood vessels connecting the heart to the lungs and can result in cardiac problems and death.

Pregnant mothers taking Paxil for major depression face a difficult decision. The FDA reports that women who discontinued antidepressant medication during pregnancy had a higher risk of relapse of major depression (68 percent) than women who continued their medication throughout pregnancy (26 percent). In some patients, the benefits of continuing Paxil may be greater than the potential risk to the fetus. Doctors are advised to discuss these risks with patients.

In 2006 the FDA warned of an additional danger when Paxil is taken with certain other drugs, most notably migraine medications called triptans. In combination, Paxil and triptans can produce a life-threatening condition known as “serotonin syndrome.” This can cause symptoms such as:

  • Coma
  • Tachycardia
  • Mania
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypertension
  • Sweating and trembling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ataxia

Contact a Paxil Litigation Lawyer Today

Babies born with heart or respiratory problems or who suffer from vomiting, low blood sugar or constant crying and whose mothers took Paxil during pregnancy might be entitled to compensation. The Driscoll Firm, LLC, has assisted clients in getting help paying for medical expenses, including hospital bills and future out-patient needs, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.

Call 314-932-3232 and talk to an experienced Paxil lawyer at The Driscoll Firm, LLC, about your legal rights today.

John J. Driscoll resolved a purchaser action against SmithKline Beecham Corp. involving alleged violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and the sale of the anti-depressant drug Paxil to minors and adolescents.

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