Paxil and Pregnancy: Side Effects of Paxil in Pregnant Women

On Behalf of | May 2, 2013 | Medical Malpractice

Whether 10 mg or 40 mg or anywhere in between, taking Paxil while pregnant can lead to serious consequences for the baby and therefore, the family. Babies born with heart defects secondary to mother’s use of Paxil during pregnancy may not live.

Some may die early, others may survive with surgery, but regardless of outcome the Paxil dangers are very serious.

Pregnant women sometimes still need to take medications. If suffering with problems such as:

• Depression
• PTSD – post traumatic stress disorder
• GAD – generalized anxiety disorder
• OCD – obsessive compulsive disorder
• Panic disorder

Paxil, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant made by GlaxoSmithKline, came out in 1992 and was designed to address these types of problems. Antidepressants are an extremely profitable market as you can see here.

Cost of Paxil around the world. Values are approximated:

• United States $65
• Germany $55
• Denmark $40
• Austria $38
• Mexico $37
• UK $36
• France $35

Now look at the profits from all of these top selling antidepressants just in the United States alone.

1. Zoloft $29.7 million
2. Lexapro $27 million
3. Prozac $22.3 million
4. Wellbutrin $20.2 million
5. Paxil $18.1 million

This is quite a profitable market as you can see. GlaxoSmithKline rakes in a ballpark $37 billion in this profitable area alone. Even with a billion dollars in lawsuits from Paxil they still seem to be doing pretty well.

Now let’s talk about risks. Because approximately 1/4 of pregnant women can suffer from depression, it’s important that meds are safe if marketed to them and for them. Risks to unborn infants is a high consideration because half of these women wind up taking some type of antidepressant during a pregnancy. Making sure medications marketed to pregnant women are safe is critical. See below for why.

It was found that women taking Paxil during a pregnancy had six times the risk of having a baby with persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). That’s double the risk to the baby as compared with women never taking an antidepressant during pregnancy.

PPHN can be in the form of VSD – ventricular septal defect or ASD – atrial septal defect

These defects must be repaired and/or can lead to death. The ventricles are the lower heart chambers and the atria are the upper heart chambers. The septum is a division between each atria and between the ventricles. When there is a defect, there is a hole in the septum which allows blood to flow from ventricle to ventricle and/or from atria to atria.
This is not supposed to ever occur. This leads to poor oxygenation in the blood and can lead to inability to sustain life, if severe enough. Hence the Paxil birth defect phenomenon can be an extremely serious situation for a baby who is affected by it.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 30 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for many years.