Paxil Birth Defect Trial Begins

The first Paxil birth defect lawsuit will commence today in Philadelphia. The drug has been linked to birth defects in pregnant women who used the drug in the first trimester of pregnancy. There are more than 600 other Paxil lawsuits pending against the drug’s manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

According to the results of two scientific studies, women who were taking Paxil during the first three months of pregnancy were 1.5 to 2 times as likely to give birth to a child with heart malformations than those who had taken other antidepressants. Another study showed evidence that babies born to mothers who took Paxil were susceptible to persistent pulmonary hypertension, a rare but life threatening condition that could potentially lead to multiple organ failure and death.

In 2005, the FDA warned consumers of the potential Paxil side effects. The studies showed cardiovascular damage such as atrial and ventricular septal defects. Other side effects include:

Difficulties with breathing
· Seizures
· Vomiting
· Low blood sugar
· Tremor
· Irritability

Court papers submitted by the plaintiff show that Paxil’s manufacturer knew about the potential side effects as far back as 1980 but did nothing about it.
“There remains the possibility that this compound could be teratogenic at higher dose levels. A teratogenic agent is one that causes malformations of an embryo or fetus,” wrote company scientist John Baldwin in a 1980 memorandum, quoted