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Paxil and Autism

According to a recent study, women who used antidepressants such as Paxil during pregnancy are twice as likely to give birth to a child that develops autism spectrum disorder. The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, is the first to link the growth of prescriptions for antidepressants to the growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders.

Researchers in the study found that women who used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)—a class of antidepressants that includes Paxil, Zoloft and Prozac—were more likely to give birth to children who later developed a form of autism. The study specifically found that women who used SSRIs during the first trimester of pregnancy and those who had used the drugs in the year prior to delivery were both more likely to have a child who would develop autism spectrum disorder.

The use of Paxil and other antidepressants during pregnancy has also been linked to a number of serious and potentially fatal birth defects, including atrial and septal defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) and hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). Although the Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the link between SSRIs and birth defects, the agency has not announced any plans to recall Paxil or other antidepressants for their association with heart defects or birth defects.

If you or a loved one used Paxil or other antidepressants while pregnant and gave birth to a child with birth defects, contact the lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.

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