The antidepressant Paxil has been linked to severe birth defects in babies born to mothers who take the drug during pregnancy. Conditions associated with Paxil include heart and lung defects, clubfoot, cleft lip / palate, and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
Update: BMJ Study Paxil to Birth Defects
A new study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has confirmed a link between use of Paxil during pregnancy and anencephaly, heart defects and gastrointestinal malformations. Click here to learn more.
What is Paxil?
Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant. Paroxetine, the active ingredient contained in the drug, regulates neurotransmitters in the brain that may become unbalanced. Paxil is prescribed to treat major depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
Expecting mothers who use Paxil during pregnancy (particularly during the first trimester, a time when many women are still unaware they are pregnant) increase the risk their babies will be born with birth defects. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that the risk of birth defects can be increased by twice the normal rate in Paxil users.
As a result of these problems, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was forced to update Paxil’s warning labels. Additionally, FDA ordered the company to upgrade Paxil’s pregnancy category from C to D, which indicates that studies have demonstrated a significant risk to a woman’s baby.
Paxil Birth Defects
- Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)
- Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD)
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Tricuspid Valve (Ebstein’s Anomaly)
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TGV)
- Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
- Hypoplastic Right Heart Syndrome (HRHS)
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Aortic Stenosis
- Pulmonary Atresia (PA)
- Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Tricuspid Valve Stenosis
- Heart Murmur
- Pulmonary Stenosis
- Gastroschisis – abdominal wall defect
- Esophageal Stenosis
- Anal Atresia
- Spina Bifida
Has a Paxil Class Action Been Filed?
Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by families whose children were born with birth defects after the mother took Paxil in pregnancy. However, these are individual complaints and not part of a Paxil Class Action Lawsuit. In October 2009, the family of Lyam Kilker was awarded $2.5 million for his heart defects in Philadelphia. A year later, GSK agreed to pay more than $1 billion to settle approximately 800 Paxil Birth Defect lawsuits.