Cleft Lip and Paxil Side Effects

Cleft lip and Paxil side effects when used during pregnancy may be related and Paxil attorneys are filing Paxil lawsuits on behalf of families affected by Paxil birth defects.  Contact a Paxil lawyer if your child was born with a cleft lip or other Paxil birth defects.

According to FDA warnings and Paxil side effect studies, women who take the antidepressant Paxil during pregnancy may have an increased risk of giving birth to children with serious side effects, including birth defects like cleft lip and cleft palate. Paxil belongs to a group of antidepressant medications called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which function by preventing the reuptake of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for controlling mood. Since it garnered FDA-approval in 1992, Paxil (paroxetine) has been indicated for the treatment of major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, major panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Paxil is currently manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.

Although Paxil has been considered one of the most popular antidepressant drugs on the market, new research indicates that the drug may no longer be safe in the treatment of pregnant women or women of childbearing age. Most Paxil birth defects, including cleft lip, 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 irreversible damage to their unborn child. If you took Paxil while pregnant and your child was born with a side effect like cleft lip, discuss your legal options with an experienced Paxil attorney.

Cleft Lip Signs and Symptoms

Cleft lip is a type of craniofacial malformation present at birth in which a child's lip fails to close properly during fetal development. Cleft lip is characterized by a vertical fissure in one or both sides of the upper lip, which may extend up through the nose in severe cases. Under normal circumstances, a child's lip is fully formed during the early stages of pregnancy. Unfortunately, when there isn't enough tissue in the lip area during this time, a cleft lip birth defect may occur.

Cleft Lip Treatment and Complications

Cleft lip treatment involves surgery to repair the defect and restore the appearance and function of the child's lip. Without treatment, an affected child may suffer from a number of life-altering complications, including feeding difficulties, chronic ear infections, hearing loss, dental problems like missing or malformed teeth, and delays in speech and language development.

FDA Warnings and Paxil Side Effect Studies

In 2005, the FDA issued a public healthy advisory warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of congenital malformations, namely heart defects, among children exposed to Paxil in early pregnancy. In 2006, the FDA issued an additional public health advisory warning the public about the increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) among children whose mothers take an SSRI like Paxil while pregnant. In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published two significant studies in which researchers sought to examine the adverse effects of fetal exposure to antidepressant drugs like Paxil. According to the first study, women who took an SSRI like Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy were nearly twice as likely to give birth to children with side effects like limb defects, club foot and anal atresia birth defects. Researchers also found a potential connection between SSRIs and cleft lip, cleft palate and neural tube birth defects. According to the second study, children born to women who took an SSRI like Paxil while pregnant were more than twice as likely to be born with catastrophic birth defects like omphalocele, anencephaly, and craniosynostosis.

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 ability 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 healthcare provider immediately. It may be dangerous to suddenly discontinue use of a prescription drug without medical consent, as this can cause further harm to you or your child. However, with the help of your doctor, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Paxil for treating your medical condition.

Paxil Attorneys for Cleft Lip Side Effects

Although some alleged Paxil side effects like cleft lip can typically be treated with surgery, the possible complications associated with this birth defect may be long-lasting. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect like cleft lip, 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 lawyers is to help victims of potential Paxil side effects seek financial compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, while also holding the allegedly negligent drug company accountable for their injuries. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. With the help of a qualified Paxil lawyer, you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.

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