Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, Paxil is an anti-depressant used to treat generalized anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and panic disorder. While Paxil has helped millions with mental health disorders, it has recently come under scrutiny over safety issues. Paxil has been associated with life-threatening side effects, including suicidal thoughts and birth defects when taken during pregnancy.
Paxil is a type of anti-depressant known as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Since SSRIs were introduced into the market, there has been controversy over whether such drugs, including Paxil, can lead to violent or suicidal tendencies in users. In 2004, the FDA issued a black box warning to Paxil and similar anti-depressants. The new warning alerted users of an increased risk of suicidal behavior in children and teens. The warning was later expanded to include adults.
In late 2005, the FDA issued another statement warning patients and doctors about the increased chance of birth defects in newborns whose mothers were taking Paxil. According to the advisory, women using Paxil in their first trimester are up to two times more likely to birth an infant with a congenital heart defect than mothers on other antidepressants or none at all.
In 2006, the FDA then discovered a link between Paxil and persistent pulmonary hypertension, a serious birth defect. Research concluded that women taking Paxil 20 or more weeks into the pregnancy were six times more likely to deliver a child with persistent pulmonary hypertension.
Persistent pulmonary hypertension occurs when the infant’s blood flows through the heart and lungs abnormally. Although this birth defect can be treated, it can still cause heart and kidney failure, brain hemorrhaging, and even death.
Paxil patients have a right to know the side effects of their prescription medications. If a drug company fails to warn patients of these risks, the company can be held liable in court. If you were taking Paxil and delivered an infant with a birth defect or your loved one committed suicide on Paxil, you may be eligible for compensation. Speak to a Paxil lawyer today by filling out our free case review form on the right.