Paxil Birth Defects

Paxil Linked to Birth Defects

It has been suggested in recent studies that pregnant women who take Paxil increase the risk their babies will be born with serious birth defects. The results of recent studies show that women who were taking Paxil during the first three months of pregnancy were one and a half to two times more likely to have a baby with heart malformations than women on other antidepressants or women in the general population. Another study showed a link between Paxil and Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN). PPHN is a rare but life-threatening birth defect that can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Paxil May Cause Heart Defects in Newborns

The FDA has issued an alert warning against the increased risks of birth defects when Paxil is taken during the first three months of pregnancy. Results of the studies have shown Paxil may cause atrial and ventricular septal defects. Atrial and ventricular septal defects are characterized by holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart.

Heart-related Paxil birth defects can range in severity from minor, which can be resolved without treatment, to severe, which usually require surgical repair. Some defects are so severe they lead to death.

Paxil May Cause PPHN

Shortly after the FDA alerted the public about the risk of Paxil birth defects, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking Paxil to PPHN. According to the study, women who used Paxil after week 20 of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN than women who did not take antidepressants during pregnancy.

PPHN is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment. PPHN may be fatal.

Known Paxil Birth Defects

There are other possible Paxil birth defects stemming from Paxil and pregnancy that include:

  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Tremors
  • Low blood sugar
  • Irritability

Due to the risk of Paxil birth defects, the FDA asked the drug's maker to change the pregnancy category on the drug from C to D. The D category means that studies have proven links between pregnant women taking Paxil and serious risks to the fetus.

If your baby was born with a Paxil birth defect, contact a qualified attorney to discuss your case. It is important to speak with an attorney now so that you do not lose your right to file a lawsuit and any potential compensation.

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