Taking Paxil During Pregnancy Linked To Birth Defects

The antidepressant Paxil has been linked to an increased risk of birth defects in the children of women who take the drug while pregnant. In 2005, the Food and Drug Administration warned that women who take Paxil during pregnancy are twice as likely to have children with major birth defects as those who are prescribed other antidepressants.

The majority of birth defects cases cited in the FDA’s Paxil warning involved atrial septal defects (ASD) and ventral septal defects (VSD), or holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart. In some cases, the side effects caused by these birth defects were so severe that they required surgery.

A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine also found that the children of women taking antidepressant drugs like Paxil while pregnant were at an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Children born with PPHN suffer from circulatory problems that can lead to respiratory failure shortly after birth.

Paxil may also be linked to other type of congenital birth defects, including cardiomyopathy, craniosynostosis, omphalocele, patent ductus arteriosus, tricuspid stenosis, bicuspid aortic valve, hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS), a cleft mitral valve, spina bifida, anencephaly or club foot. Some children of mothers who took Paxil have also been born with severe withdrawal symptoms from the antidepressant.

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is currently facing more than 600 Paxil lawsuits filed by the families of children who were born with birth defects that may have been caused by the antidepressant drug. Paxil lawyers representing these clients have uncovered evidence that GSK may have deliberately hid information about the link between Paxil and birth defects from the FDA and parents. So far, no plans have been announced to issue a Paxil recall due to the link with congenital birth defects.

If  you took antidepressants such as Zoloft or Paxil during pregnancy and your child was born with ASD, VSD, PPHN or other birth defects, contact the attorneys at Hissey Kientz, LLP to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us at any time by calling toll free at 1-888-776-5552, or by filling out the free case evaluation form on the right of this page.

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