Paxil® and Birth Defects

Few things are more heartbreaking than a baby born with serious birth defects. An event that should be a joyous occasion for new parents turns into a devastating time of worry, emotional suffering, agonizing medical intervention, and uncertainty about the future. At Michigan Injury Lawyers, we understand the painful turmoil of parents enduring the days, months, and years following the birth of a child disabled by adverse medical conditions. When birth defects could have been prevented and a negligent drug manufacturer lies at the bottom of such a tragedy, we do everything possible to hold such parties accountable, no matter their size and resources.

A Paxil® attorney at our firm can help you take legal action against its manufacturers if your child has been harmed due to exposure to this drug during pregnancy. You can discuss your potential legal case with one of our knowledgeable attorneys in a free consultation. If you have a valid claim, you will pay nothing until we recover the compensation to which you are entitled under law.

Birth Defects in Infants Exposed to Antidepressants

Paxil®, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) used to treat various psychological problems such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress, and more. It does so by balancing certain chemicals in the brain. Unfortunately, the effects of Paxil® can go beyond those for whom it has been designed. When a pregnant woman takes Paxil® or similar SSRI antidepressants, these drugs can result in an increased risk of various types of often life-threatening birth defects in their infants.

The FDA published a 2005 safety document addressed to healthcare professionals in which Paxil® was placed in Category C, the second-highest risk category in regard to increased potential of birth defects. Studies reviewed by the FDA found that Paxil® exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy increased the risk of heart defects in infants by 1 ½ to 2 times as opposed to mothers who did not take the drug. Subsequent FDA advisories stated that the drug should not be used in the first trimester of pregnancy or in women planning to become pregnant.

In another FDA document which discusses prescribing information concerning Paxil®, the federal agency gives the following warning: “There is a possibility that Paxil® may harm your unborn baby, including an increased risk of birth defects, particularly heart defects. Other risks may include a serious condition in which there is not enough oxygen in the baby’s blood. Your baby may also have certain other symptoms shortly after birth. Premature births have also been reported in some women who used Paxil® during pregnancy.” The implications of these warnings are discussed in a WebMD page also released in 2005.

Birth defects linked to Paxil® exposure include:

  • Heart defects such as atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects, which are holes in the heart
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension
  • Abdominal defects (omphalocele)
  • Respiratory problems

All of these types of serious conditions can lead to extensive medical expenses, lost wages or income for parents, pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

Paxil® Lawsuits

As a result of the harm caused by this drug to infants exposed to it during pregnancy, hundreds of Paxil® lawsuits were filed against GSK. Many of these were settled in 2010 in the amount of an estimated $1 billion.

You may have grounds to initiate a Paxil® lawsuit if you took Paxil® during pregnancy which resulted in your child’s birth defects. You can discuss your case with a Paxil® lawyer at Michigan Injury Lawyers to learn more about your legal rights and options. Contact us for knowledgeable and concerned legal advice and guidance.