Cleft Palate and Paxil Side Effects

Cleft palate and Paxil side effects in pregnancy may be correlated and Paxil attorneys are filing lawsuits nationwide on behalf of families affected by Paxil birth defects.  If your child was born with a cleft palate and Paxil is suspected, contact a Paxil lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the antidepressant Paxil in treating pregnant women, due to data suggesting the drug may increase a child's risk of being born with major birth defects, like cleft palate and cleft lip. Paxil is one of a group of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which act upon the neurotransmitter serotonin in order to relieve depression and improve certain mood disorders. Paxil (paroxetine) garnered FDA approval in 1992 for the treatment of major depressive disorder, and has since been additionally approved for conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, major panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder and generalized anxiety disorder. Paxil is currently manufactured by drug company GlaxoSmithKline.

Regardless of the popularity of Paxil and other SSRI antidepressants, these drugs have become the subject of significant scrutiny in recent years in light of Paxil side effect studies. According to these studies, children whose mothers take Paxil while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of developing side effects like cleft palate birth defects. If you took Paxil while pregnant and your child was born with a birth defect like cleft palate, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse. Your child may be entitled to lifetime care, which you can acquire by filing a Paxil lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline.

Cleft Palate Symptoms

Cleft palate is a birth defect characterized by an opening in an affected child's palate. Cleft palate can affect the bony front portion of the mouth or the soft back portion of the mouth. This defect can vary in severity from a small opening at the back of the mouth to a nearly complete separation of the palate, or roof of the mouth. Under normal circumstances, a child's palate is fully developed during early pregnancy. However, when there isn't enough tissue in the palate area as the structure is forming in utero, a cleft palate birth defect may occur.

Cleft Palate Treatment and Complications

Although there are temporary treatments for cleft palate, including the use of a man-made palate, the only way to permanently repair a cleft palate is for the child to undergo surgery to correct the malformation. Without treatment, a child with cleft palate may suffer from significant complications, including dental problems, frequent ear infections, hearing loss, difficulty during feedings, and speech and language delay.

FDA Warnings and Paxil Side Effect Studies

The FDA issued a public health advisory in 2005 warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of congenital malformations, namely heart defects, among children exposed to Paxil during the first trimester of pregnancy. In 2006, the FDA issued another warning to the public regarding the increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) among children whose mothers take an SSRI like Paxil while pregnant. PPHN is a severe side effect in which a child's circulation continues to bypass the lungs after birth, depriving the rest of the body of the oxygen it needs to function. In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers found a nearly two-times increased risk of birth defects like limb defects, club foot and anal atresia in infants exposed to SSRIs like Paxil in early pregnancy. Researchers also found a possible link between SSRIs and cleft palate, cleft lip and neural tube birth defects.

Paxil Use and Pregnancy

The pregnancy category of Paxil has been elevated from C to D, which means there is positive human evidence of the drug's potential to cause severe fetal harm or birth defects when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Paxil and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider immediately. You should never suddenly stop taking a pharmaceutical drug without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Paxil for treating your medical condition.

Paxil Attorneys for Cleft Palate Side Effects

All children deserve to live a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, children born with side effects like cleft palate are often robbed of this right, forced to spend the rest of their lives suffering from serious complications or dealing with long-term medical care. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect like cleft palate and you believe Paxil to be the cause, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Paxil lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. 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. With the help of a qualified Paxil lawyer, victims of potential Paxil side effects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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