Paxil Birth Defects and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits - Consumer Justice Foundation

Paxil Birth Defects and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

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Paxil Birth Defects and Medical Malpractice Lawsuits

Medical malpractice lawsuits may result from possible Paxil birth defects. Consult an experienced Paxil lawyer to discuss your legal rights and compensation options.

Paxil attorneys across the country are investigating medical malpractice claims on behalf of patients who were prescribed the antidepressant drug despite the strict warnings issued by the FDA regarding severe Paxil pregnancy risks. A number of Paxil patients who took the SSRI antidepressant while pregnant have given birth to children with one or more serious birth defects, including heart malformations and lung defects, and are seeking financial compensation for their children’s injuries and medical expenses. In 2005, the FDA increased the pregnancy category of Paxil from C to D, which means positive human evidence has shown the drug can cause severe fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. Despite this birth defect risk, doctors continue to prescribe Paxil to pregnant women and women of childbearing age suffering from depression or other mood disorders. If you were prescribed Paxil without first being informed of the pregnancy risks linked to the antidepressant, and your child was born with a major birth defect, consult a Paxil attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against your physician.

Pregnancy Risks of the Antidepressant, Paxil

In addition to the strong FDA warning issued in 2005, another public health advisory was issued by the FDA in 2006, warning patients about the increased risk of the birth defect PPHN in children exposed to SSRI antidepressants like Paxil in pregnancy. This FDA notice was based on the results of a New England Journal of Medicine study published earlier that year, in which researchers found an alarming six-times increased risk of PPHN in children whose mothers took an SSRI like Paxil after the twentieth week of pregnancy. Despite these Paxil birth defect alerts directed towards healthcare professionals, research indicates that doctors continue to prescribe Paxil to pregnant women and women of childbearing age for conditions like major depressive disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, according to a 2005 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, more than 80,000 pregnant women are prescribed SSRI antidepressants like Paxil in the U.S. in any given year. In addition, FDA estimates showed that a shocking 19.7 million Paxil prescriptions were filled in 2007.

Alleged Paxil Birth Defects

Paxil (paroxetine) is currently manufactured by drug maker GlaxoSmithKline, and has been availabed in the U.S. since it garnered FDA approval in 1992. Paxil is one of a group of antidepressant drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), which are some of the most frequently prescribed antidepressant drugs in the country. Unfortunately, recent studies have established a potential link between Paxil and serious birth defects like:

  • Heart defects
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Limb defects
  • Neural tube defects
  • Cleft palate
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Cleft lip
  • Anal atresia
  • Omphalocele

According to a report issued by Paxil maker GlaxoSmithKline, more than 25% of Paxil users are women of childbearing age between 18 and 45 years old. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Unfortunately, because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, all women of childbearing age taking Paxil may be at risk of unknowingly causing irreparable damage to their unborn child.

Paxil Lawsuits for Medical Malpractice

The FDA has issued several warnings to healthcare professionals, alerting them about the potential for Paxil to cause serious birth defects among children exposed to the drug in pregnancy. Unfortunately, doctors continue to prescribe the antidepressant drug to pregnant women and women of childbearing age, despite the FDA’s classification of Paxil as a pregnancy category D medication. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect linked to the use of Paxil in pregnancy, and your doctor failed to warn you about the pregnancy risks of Paxil therapy, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your prescribing physician. The main goal of Paxil lawsuits is to help injured victims protect their rights and pursue financial compensation for their injuries, the medical cost of treating their injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by them and their family. You are not at fault for any birth defects caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. By hiring a qualified Paxil attorney to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

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