Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Paxil Birth Defects

Paxil medical malpractice lawsuits for birth defects when prescribed during pregnancy may be filed by Paxil Attorneys.  If your doctor prescribed Paxil during pregnancy, contact a Paxil attorney to discuss your medical malpractice lawsuit options.

Thousands of Paxil lawsuits have been filed on behalf of patients who took Paxil to treat their depression or mood disorder and suffered a serious side effect as a result. Some of the most devastating cases of Paxil side effects have involved newborns and infants who were born with severe birth defects after being exposed to the antidepressant Paxil in utero. The FDA has taken steps to alert healthcare providers about the pregnancy risks associated with Paxil use, in order to prevent unnecessary fetal injury. In fact, the FDA elevated the pregnancy category of Paxil from C to D in 2005, a category reserved for drugs which positive human evidence has shown can cause severe, unreasonable harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. Unfortunately, doctors continue to prescribe Paxil to pregnant women and women of childbearing age, despite the fact that the possible benefits of the drug may be outweighed by the potential risks involved. If you were prescribed Paxil by your doctor without being adequately informed of the potential risks associated with the antidepressant drug, and your child was born with a serious birth defect, contact a Paxil attorney immediately, as your child may be entitled to lifetime care.

Doctors Continue to Prescribe Paxil to Women of Childbearing Age

Paxil has been on the market in the U.S. since 1992 and is currently manufactured by drug company GlaxoSmithKline. Paxil (paroxetine) belongs to a class of antidepressant drugs called SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, which are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressant drugs available. In fact, paroxetine (Paxil) was ranked 94th on the list of best-selling drugs in 2007, with over $1 billion in sales. Despite the potential link between the antidepressant Paxil and severe side effects and birth defects, healthcare providers continue to prescribe the drug to pregnant women and women of childbearing age to treat conditions like major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2005 estimated that more than 80,000 pregnant women are prescribed SSRI antidepressant drugs like Paxil in the U.S. in any given year.

Paxil Pregnancy Risks and Potential Birth Defects

Most birth defects occur during the first trimester of pregnancy, before many women are even aware they are pregnant. Unfortunately, because nearly half of all pregnancies are unplanned, all women of childbearing age taking Paxil may be at risk of unknowingly causing irreversible harm to their unborn child. According to a report issued by Paxil maker GlaxoSmithKline, more than 25% of its users are women of childbearing age between 18 and 45 years of age. This alarming statistic means that one-quarter of Paxil users are putting themselves at risk of giving birth to children with severe birth defects, including:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Neural tube defects
  • Heart defects
  • Cleft palate
  • Anal atresia
  • Cleft lip
  • Omphalocele
  • Craniosynostosis
  • Limb defects

In light of this birth defect risk, the FDA has advised physicians to consider discontinuing Paxil therapy in pregnant women and in women planning to become pregnant. The FDA has also warned healthcare providers that the benefits of continuing Paxil therapy may be outweighed by the potential risks to the fetus.

Paxil Medical Malpractice Lawsuits for Birth Defects

The first Paxil lawsuit associated with a serious birth defect was filed in 2006 on behalf of a boy who was born with PPHN after being exposed to Paxil in pregnancy. Since then, a number of successful Paxil lawsuits have involved women who took Paxil while pregnant and subsequently gave birth to children with life-altering birth defects like heart malformations and lung defects. It is the duty of all physicians to warn their patients about the birth defect risk associated with Paxil before prescribing the antidepressant to pregnant women or women of childbearing age. Unfortunately, doctors continue to recommend Paxil therapy to pregnant patients despite the FDA's classification of the antidepressant as a pregnancy category D medication. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect associated with Paxil use in pregnancy, and your doctor failed to notify you about the pregnancy risks of Paxil therapy, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against your doctor in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses with the help of a Paxil attorneys. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug; by filing a Paxil medical malpractice lawsuit you can protect your rights and collect the compensation you deserve.  Contact a Paxil lawyer today.

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