Hundreds of families have filed lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the manufacturer of the antidepressant Paxil, alleging that their children were born with birth defects caused by the drug. According to studies investigating the side effects of Paxil, mothers who use the antidepressant during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to children with major birth defects.
Concerns about the link between Paxil and birth defects grew widespread in 2005, when the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the risk of heart defects for the children of women taking the drug during pregnancy. The FDA stated that these children were at an increased risk of atrial septal defects (ASD) and ventral septal defects (VSD)—holes in the walls of the heart—and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a circulatory condition that can lead to respiratory failure shortly after birth.
Lawyers representing the families of children born with Paxil birth defects have found evidence showing that GSK was aware of its health risks long before they became public knowledge. According to documents uncovered in one Paxil lawsuit, the company had evidence as early as 1980 linking Paxil and birth defects. However, this information was not made public until GSK was forced by the FDA to conduct safety studies of Paxil in 2003.
GSK recently paid more than $1 billion to settle more than 800 Paxil birth defects lawsuits. However, despite evidence linking the antidepressant to birth defects and other side effects, neither GSK or the FDA has chosen to issue a recall of Paxil.
If you used Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft or other antidepressants during pregnancy and gave birth to a child with heart defects or other congenital birth defects, contact the law firm of Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-888-776-5552, or by filling out the free case evaluation form to the right of this page.