Paxil Side Effects

The children of women taking Paxil during pregnancy may be at an increased risk of serious congenital birth defects, including heart defects or respiratory problems. Other serious side effects of Paxil include an increased risk of suicide and addiction.

Many of the cases of birth defects linked to Paxil involved children born with atrial septal defects (ASD) and ventral septal defects (VSD), or holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart. According to a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration, women who took Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy were twice as likely to given birth to children with birth defects as those who took another antidepressant.

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the children of women who were prescribed Paxil or other antidepressant drugs during the late stages of pregnancy were at an increased risk of developing persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Newborns with this condition experience circulation problems that can lead to respiratory failure shortly after birth.

Other birth defects linked to Paxil include:

  • Cardiomyopathy: weakening of the heart muscle
  • Craniosynostosis: the fibrous sutures on a baby’s head close earlier than normal
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS): the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped, making it hard to pump blood through the body; when occurring on the right side, this condition is know as hypoplastic right heart syndrome (HRHS)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot: oxygen-poor blood flows from the heart due to a combination of four heart defects. Infants with this condition often have bluish-colored skin because of the lack of oxygen flowing to the body.
  • Omphalocele: the infant’s intestines or other abdominal organs stick out of the belly button
  • Patent ductus arteriosus: the blood vessel connecting the fetal aorta and pulmonary artery fails to close after birth
  • Bicuspid aortic valve: the valve of the aorta only has two leaflets instead of three, making it difficult for the body to regulate bloodflow from the heart
  • Tricuspid  stenosis: narrowing of the tricuspid valve that causes increased resistance to bloodflow in the heart
  • Cleft mitral valve: a small hole or slit in one of the heart valves that may require surgery
  • Club foot: the foot is rotated inward toward the body at the ankle
  • Limb reductions: limbs are smaller than normal or missing after failing to form completely during pregnancy
  • Spina bifida: failure of the fetal spinal column to close early in pregnancy
  • Anencephaly: incomplete development of the brain

GSK has paid more than $1 billion to settle Paxil lawsuits filed against the company over the antidepressant. Although the GSK has paid approximately $200 million in settlements for some cases involving birth defects, there are still more than 600 Paxil birth defects lawsuits facing the company.

If you or a loved one took Paxil, Zoloft or similar antidepressants while pregnant and gave birth to a child with congenital birth defects, contact the attorneys with Hissey Kientz, LLP to learn about your rights. You can reach us by calling our toll-free hotline at 1-888-776-5552, or by filling out a free case evaluation form on the right of this page.

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