Paxil birth defects can cause a range of congenital conditions, particularly heart valve problems in unborn children when the mother takes Paxil during pregnancy. In fact, multiple systemic reviews have concluded that the use of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant medication known as Paxil (generically paroxetine) during pregnancy nearly doubles the likelihood of birth defects.
Given this risk, medical experts and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the maker of Paxil in the U.S., advise women who are trying to become pregnant to work with their doctor to find a safer anti-depressant medication than Paxil. Should a Paxil patient become pregnant, she should work with her doctor to weigh out the benefits versus the risks of taking Paxil during pregnancy. In most cases, finding a safer SSRI under the supervision of her doctor will be the safest choice.
Types of Paxil Birth Defects
Specifically, Paxil birth defects may include any (or any combination) of the following:
- Anencephaly (lack of brain development that typically results in stillbirth or fatality shortly after birth)
- Club foot
- Craniosynostosis (a congenital defect in which a weak connection between the skull bones causes the skull to be shaped abnormally)
- Heart defects, including atrial or ventricular septal defects (conditions in which the wall between the right and left sides of the heart does not fully matured)
- Omphalocele (a condition in which a not fully matured abdominal wall allows the intestines and/or abdominal organs to protrude through the belly button)
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN, high blood pressure within the lung’s blood vessels that hinder an infant’s ability to sufficiently oxygenate his blood by breathing. PPHN is roughly six times more likely to affect infants who have been exposed to Paxil.)
- Spina bifida (a condition in which the spinal cord doesn’t fully develop, which usually causes permanent nerve damage and, at the very lease, some paralysis in the lower extremities)
From 2005 through 2006, GSK issued three separate public announcements alerting the public about the various birth defects associated with the use of Paxil during pregnancy.
Compensation for Paxil Birth Defects
If your infant has been born and suffered from any side effect including anencephaly, club foot, craniosynostosis, heart defects, omphalocele, PPHN, or spina bifida and you have a history of using Paxil, consult with a skilled Paxil lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and entitlements. You may have a strong legal claim against GSK and may be entitled to compensation for you and your infant’s injuries and losses.