Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuit

December 8, 2005

PaxilThe FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a Public Health Advisory in December of 2005 that warned doctors and patients of the potential for Paxil (paroxetine) to cause an increased risk of congenital heart defects in infants due to exposure to Paxil in the womb. This FDA advisory was based upon two separate studies conducted by Swedish and U.S. researchers. Congenital heart defects are just one of the serious birth defects which may result from a woman taking Paxil or other SSRI antidepressants while pregnant.


Antidepressant Drugs Include:

  • Zoloft (Generic: sertraline)
  • Prozac (Generic: fluoxetine)
  • Paxil (Generic: paroxetine)

Paxil Heart Defects

SSRI antidepressants like Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft and Celexa have been linked to cases of serious congenital heart defects, which may include atrial septal defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects (VSD), tetrology of fallot (ToF), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), transposition of the great arteries (TGA or TOGA), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), and coarctation of the aorta (CoA). In many cases, surgery is required when the child is very young (first three years of life) and then again, potentially multiple times, as the child grows to adulthood. Most congenital heart defects are treatable when they are diagnosed and addressed early on. Children may then be able to lead a mostly normal and productive life following medical attention. In some cases, the only viable option to correct these severe heart defects and preserve the child’s life involves a heart transplant.

Paxil Birth Defect BabyIn 2005, a Danish study indicated that pregnant women prescribed SSRI antidepressant medicines like Paxil in early pregnancy may have increased risk of giving birth to infants with congenital heart defects. In this study, infants exposed to SSRI antidepressants like Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac during the first 3 months of pregnancy had a 60 percent higher chance of developing congenital heart defects when compared with infants whose mothers did not take Paxil or other SSRI antidepressants.

Paxil Birth Defects

There are multiple birth defects associated with Paxil, these include:

  • Heart defects
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Omphalocele (an abdominal birth defect)
  • Hydrocephalus (water on the brain)
  • Craniosynostosis (causes the head to be misshapen)
  • Clubfoot
  • Anencephely (brain defects)
  • Neural Tube Defects (Spina Bifida)
  • Cleft Lip
  • Cleft Palate

Paxil Class Action Lawsuit vs. Individual Paxil Lawsuit

There are distinct differences between a Paxil (paroxetine) class action lawsuit and a more typical individual Paxil lawsuit. A Paxil class action lawsuit would be a form of Paxil lawsuit in which a large group of people (plaintiffs) collectively bring a lawsuit to court in the form of a “class action” against the manufacturers of Paxil (defendant). In a class action lawsuit involving personal injury, resulting from defective products such as antidepressant SSRI drugs like Paxil (paroxetine), Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine) and Celexa (citalopram), all Paxil lawsuit plaintiffs would typically be grouped together into a single Paxil class action lawsuit, regardless of the degree or severity of their birth defect injuries. In this type of Paxil class action lawsuit, plaintiffs with injuries ranging from minor heart murmurs not requiring surgery, all the way to the most severe congenital heart defects, requiring multiple surgeries or a complete heart transplant, would be grouped into one single Paxil class action lawsuit. All plaintiffs in the class would equally share any award or settlement resulting from the Paxil class action lawsuit.

In Paxil lawsuits involving catastrophic injury or death, an individual lawsuit, in most cases, is more appropriate and in the plaintiff’s best interest. SSRI antidepressants like Paxil, Prozac, Celexa and Zoloft have been linked to severe congenital heart defects, including: atrial septal defects (ASD – hole in the heart), ventricular septal defects (VSD – hole in the heart), tetrology of fallot (ToF), hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), transposition of the great arteries (TGA or TOGA), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR), and coarctation of the aorta (CoA). Paxil cases such as these are better suited to an individual Paxil lawsuit because of the severity and degree of injury to the plaintiff. In an individual Paxil Lawsuit, each plaintiff’s case is filed, presented and considered individually, based on its own strength and degree of injury.

In many cases involving SSRI antidepressants like Paxil, Prozac, Celexa, and Zoloft and the serious congenital heart defects related to these SSRI antidepressants, surgery is required. Heart surgery will typically be required when a child is an infant or toddler and then again, potentially multiple times, as the child grows to maturity. In many cases, with surgery and medical care, children may be able to lead mostly normal and productive lives. An individual Paxil lawsuit allows each Paxil victim, their injuries and their future needs to be considered on an individual basis when determining damages, awards and settlement amounts, and not as part of a class action lawsuit.

Paxil Autism

A recent study published by Archives of General Psychiatry has found a link between antidepressant use during pregnancy and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Pregnant women taking Paxil antidepressants during the first trimester of pregnancy may triple the chances of their child having Paxil autism. This study was prompted when researchers noticed a rise over the past few years in the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressant (SSRIs) and an increase in Paxil autism diagnoses.

Paxil Autism Side Effects

  • Autism from Paxil
  • ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • PDD – Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • PDD – NOS – Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified

If you or a loved one took Paxil while pregnant and have a child that may suffer Paxil autism or other Paxil birth defects, contact our law firm immediately to discuss the legal options available to you and your family.

See also: Autism Lawsuit: Antidepressants During Pregnancy Increase Autism Risk

Speak to a Paxil Lawyer

If you took Paxil or Paxil CR during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, we encourage you to contact a Paxil litigation attorney at our law firm immediately. It may be too late to recover from the debilitating effects of Paxil, but an experienced product liability attorney can assist you in a legal action against the makers of Paxil. You are not alone. Join other birth defect victims and their families in speaking up and fighting for their legal rights.

Paxil Lawsuit

Please fill out our free legal evaluation form on the far right and we will call or e-mail you back within 24 hours. Please keep in mind that certain states have a statute of limitations that limits the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit or seek legal action. Contact our law firm immediately so we may explain the rights and options available to you and your family.

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