Anal Atresia and Paxil Side Effects

Anal atresia and Paxil side effects when used in pregnancy may be linked.  If your child was born with anal atresia birth defects and you used Paxil while pregnant, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss your legal options in filing a Paxil lawsuit.

anal-atresia-illustrationFDA warnings and Paxil side effect studies have alerted the public about the side effects potentially associated with the antidepressant Paxil, including birth defects like anal atresia. Paxil (paroxetine) has been available in the U.S. since 1992, when the drug was FDA-approval for the treatment of major depressive disorder. In 1996, the drug was additionally indicated to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder and major panic disorder, in 1999 for social anxiety disorder, in 2000 for post-traumatic stress disorder, and in 2001 for generalized anxiety disorder. Paxil is one of a group of antidepressant medications called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which function by restoring the balance of serotonin in the brain. By doing so, Paxil and other SSRIs can effectively relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Paxil is currently manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Despite the popularity of Paxil in the U.S. and other countries, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the antidepressant in treating pregnant women and women of childbearing age. According to recent studies, women who take Paxil during pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to children with one or more serious side effects, including anal atresia, cleft palate, and craniosynostosis birth defects. If you took Paxil while pregnant and your child was born with a birth defect like anal atresia, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss your legal options. Your child may be entitled to lifetime care, which you can acquire by filing a Paxil lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline.

Anal Atresia Symptoms

Anal atresia, or imperforate anus, is a Paxil birth defect characterized by a missing or blocked opening to the anus. In children with anal atresia, the rectum may fail to connect to the colon, or it may have openings to the urethra, bladder, vagina, or the base of the penis. Common symptoms of anal atresia include:

  • Missing or misplaced opening to the anus
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Failure to pass stool within 24-48 hours of birth
  • Stool passes out of the vagina, urethra, scrotum or base of the penis

Anal Atresia Treatment and Complications

Children with anal atresia typically require reconstructive surgery in order to repair the defect and restore the proper functioning of the anus. If the child's rectum connects with other organs, these organs may need to be repaired as well. Common complications associated with anal atresia include bowel incontinence, constipation and intestinal blockage. Children with anal atresia should be tested for additional birth defects, including malformations of the spine, urinary tract and genitals, as these often accompany anal atresia. Unfortunately, some children with anal atresia never regain normal bowel control.

FDA Warnings and Paxil Side Effect Studies

In 2005, the FDA issued a public health advisory warning patients and physicians about the increased risk of congenital malformations, particularly heart defects, among children exposed to Paxil during early pregnancy. In 2006, the FDA issued an additional public health advisory regarding the increased risk of PPHN (persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn) in children whose mothers take SSRI drugs like Paxil while pregnant. In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers sought to examine the adverse effects of fetal exposure to SSRI antidepressants like Paxil. According to the report, children born to women who took Paxil or another SSRI during the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to develop Paxil birth defects like anal atresia, limb defects and club foot. Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, all women of childbearing age taking Paxil may be at risk of unknowingly causing irreparable harm to their unborn child.

Paxil Use in Pregnancy

The FDA has elevated the pregnancy category of Paxil from C to D, which means there is positive human evidence of the drug's potential to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Paxil and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your doctor immediately. It may not be safe to suddenly stop using a prescription drug, as this can cause further harm to you or your child. However, with the help of your healthcare provider, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Paxil for treating your condition.

Paxil Attorneys for Anal Atresia Side Effects

Anal atresia is a serious side effect and can have life-altering complications for an affected child. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect like anal atresia, which you believe to be linked to Paxil, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a Paxil lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline. The goal of Paxil attorneys is to help victims of potential Paxil side effects seek financial compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. In addition, Paxil lawsuits bring public attention to the potentially harmful nature of the antidepressant drug, possibly preventing further injury in the future. Drug companies like GlaxoSmithKline are responsible for the safety of their medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. By hiring an experienced Paxil lawyer to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

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