Back in 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that research evaluations of the prescription antidepressant Paxil discovered that taking Paxil during pregnancy, specifically during the first three months of pregnancy, may significantly raise the risk of having an infant with birth defects. The most common Paxil birth defects found were congenital (present at birth) heart defects.
Paxil is a popular antidepressant medication and is part of a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRI antidepressants work by altering certain chemical levels in the brain used to communicate called neurotransmitters. A lot of scientific experts believe that depression is a result of an imbalance in the numbers of different neurotransmitters in the brain. Other antidepressants in the SSRI class include Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, and Effexor. Paxil has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat depression and certain other psychiatric disorders.
Two studies examined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that women who took Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy were approximately twice as likely to have an infant suffering from a heart defect compared to women who took other antidepressants during pregnancy. The majority of the Paxil heart defects found in the research study were atrial and ventricular septal defects which are holes in the chamber walls in the heart.
Atrial and ventricular septal defects may vary greatly in severity. In some cases they can be fairly minor, and some are more serious which may require operation or even a heart transplant early in life. Among the general population of pregnancies, these types of heart defects occur in about 1 of every 100 births, but in Paxil pregnancies they occur about twice as frequently.
The FDA report has resulted in the manufacturer of Paxil, Glaxo Smith Kline, changing the warning label on their prescription packaging. Where previously it was a pregnancy category C drug, it is now a pregnancy category D drug. This is a significant change because it now recognizes that studies among pregnant women have demonstrated that Paxil causes a risk to unborn children. The FDA is urging medical professionals not to prescribe Paxil to pregnant women or women who are considering becoming pregnant.
Many new parents ask themselves what was the cause of my child’s birth defects? Did it happen during pregnancy? The antidepressant Paxil may be linked to causing the development of birth defects of unborn babies, infants, and children when their mothers took them while pregnant.
Our law firm is handling individual birth defect lawsuits against drug and pharmaceutical companies and currently accepting new Paxil cases across the nation. If your child was born with a birth injury that you believe may have been caused by taking an antidepressant like Paxil during pregnancy, then you should contact our law firm as soon as possible for a free confidential review of your potential birth defect lawsuit case. All cases are handled on a Contingency Fee Basis (no attorney’s fees or expenses charged unless we recover for you).