In addition to the numerous physical side effects, new research is revealing that Paxil, as well as other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), may lead to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children born to women who took those drugs during pregnancy. An Oklahoma Paxil lawsuit is being prepared to help recover damages for people who have suffered Paxil side effects.
Paxil Side Effects
Malformed hearts and skeletal defects are two of the most common, and most serious, Paxil side effects found in infants. Malformation of the heart means the infant’s heart did not properly grow during gestation, and therefore does not function properly. It can sometimes be corrected with surgery, but is still one of the leading causes of birth defect-related death in infants.
Skeletal defects can be present in several areas of the body. They can mean malformed limbs, underdeveloped or absent areas of the skull, or spinal problems such as spina bifida or scoliosis, all of which can cause years of pain and suffering for a child.
Additional side effects include, but are not limited to: diarrhea; dry mouth; nausea; numbness or tingling of the skin; trouble concentrating or sleeping; blurred vision; constipation; decreased sexual desire; weakness; loss of appetite. More seriously, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, unusual or severe mood changes, worsening of depression, and suicidal thoughts or attempts have also been identified as possible Paxil side effects.
Paxil and Autism
In addition to the numerous physical side effects, new research is revealing that Paxil, as well as other antidepressants, may lead to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children born to women who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy. Autism is a general term which describes several complex developmental brain disorders including Rett Syndrome, Asperger Syndrome, and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.
The main study being cited for this discovery was conducted under the supervision of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in Northern California. More than 1,800 children were studied. The study discussed not only Paxil, but a wide range of SSRIs, including Zoloft, a widely prescribed antidepressant. The study also revealed some alarming findings:
- Approximately 13% of all pregnant women are exposed to SSRIs during pregnancy
- A fetus exposed to SSRIs is twice as likely to develop ASD as a fetus not exposed to SSRIs during gestation
- A fetus exposed to SSRIs is four times as likely to develop ASD if the drugs are taken during the first trimester
Paxil and Pregnancy
One of the most important factors of the Kaiser Permanente study is that the use of SSRIs has increased over the last decade, and so has the prevalence of ASD. This information led researchers to postulate that the two may be related. That theory was supported by the results of the study.
Other studies have also shown that infants born to mothers who took Paxil during pregnancy are more likely to suffer from birth defects such as malformed hearts, skeletal defects, and other serious conditions. As the studies have expanded to include other SSRIs, they’ve revealed the possibility of Zoloft birth defects, or other Zoloft side effects, as well as issues brought about by taking other SSRIs during pregnancy. As more studies are conducted, the evidence will most likely demonstrate a dangerous link between Paxil and pregnancy, as well as risks presented by other SSRIs like Zoloft.
Despite the alarming results of studies which have shown proof of Paxil birth defects, it has not been subjected to a drug recall.
What is Paxil?
Paxil (paroxetine) is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI, the is most often prescribed as an antidepressant. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. Other trade names for the drug are Aropax, Seroxat, and Sereupin. Paxil was approved by the FDA in 2001 for the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder, and in the months and year following, was also approved to treat depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Paxil is only one of a group of drugs SSRIs that are used to treat depression and other anxiety disorders. According to the FDA, currently approved SSRIs include, but are not limited to:
- Citalopram (Celexa)
- Escitalopram (Lexapro)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem)
- Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Fluoxetine combined with the atypical antipsychotic olanzapine (Symbyax)
Paxil and FDA Categories
Paxil became available on the market in 1992, and the FDA classified it as a Category C drug, which means there is a risk of fetal harm if the drug is taken during pregnancy, but the benefits may outweigh the risk. It was marketed heavily to women of childbearing age.
In December 2005, as a result of studies indicating the possibility of Paxil birth defects, the FDA reclassified Paxil as a Category D drug. This category indicates that studies of the drug have shown evidence of fetal risk, but it may still be prescribed if the potential benefits far outweigh the potential risks, or if a life-threatening situation is present, for which no other drug will be effective. This elevation in category is a further indication that Paxil taken during pregnancy can result in harm to a fetus.
Paxil Birth Defects: What To Do
If you took Paxil while you were pregnant, and your child was born with a malformed heart, skeletal defects, or any other serious birth defects, you may be eligible to participate in an Oklahoma City Paxil lawsuit, or a Tulsa Paxil lawsuit, depending on where in Oklahoma you live. Our Oklahoma City birth defect lawyers are helping victims receive compensation for medical bills and other damages related to Paxil use. Medical treatment for birth defects can be quite expensive, and more than one surgery may be necessary to correct the damage.
The Oklahoma City Paxil attorneys at McIntyre Law are in the process of helping families who have suffered from Paxil side effects, and are eligible to participate in an Oklahoma City Paxil lawsuit. We also rely on our Tulsa Paxil attorneys to expand our reach and help more people. Because we are experienced birth injury lawyers, we’ll be able to tell you whether you’re eligible to participate in an Oklahoma Paxil lawsuit. If your child is suffering because of Paxil birth defects, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation by filling our our contact form, or by calling us toll free at (877) 917-5250.
If You Can’t Participate In The Oklahoma Paxil Lawsuit
We are now accepting Paxil lawsuit cases across the United States in:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
What if I haven’t taken Paxil?
If you’ve never taken Paxil, or any other SSRI, and are not eligible to participate in an Oklahoma Paxil lawsuit, you should be aware that numerous other drugs have been recalled, and have caused injury to many people. The McIntyre Law team is helping people with several of these drug lawsuits. Please see our other drug information pages to find out if you are affected by any drug recall: