I recently wrote about Birth Defects Caused by Prescription Medications.  Now, I want to include the drug Paxil.  Paxil is an antidepressant medication that balances serotonin levels in a patient’s brain.  However, Paxil has been linked to a series of side effects, including birth defects and suicidal tendencies.  Therefore, the FDA asked Paxil's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, to update Paxil's warning section.  They asked them to change the pregnancy category from C to D.  Being in the “D” category indicates that the drug is confirmed to pose a major risk to a baby.  It is important to speak to a doctor prior to taking a prescription drug during pregnancy.

What is Paxil?

Paxil is an antidepressant medication manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline.  It is used for the treatment of major disorders, including:

  • Depressive disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Common Side Effects of Paxil:

  • Tremor, nervousness, or anxiety
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Tachycardia (sudden, rapid racing of the heart)
  • Profuse sweating
  • Postural hypotension (decrease in blood pressure when you sit or stand)
  • Nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, or changes in appetite or weight
  • Sleepiness or insomnia
  • Sexual side effects like decreased libido (sex drive), impotence
  • Social dysfunction

Why is Paxil Dangerous?

Beside its common side effects, there are serious risks associated with taking Paxil while pregnant or breast-feeding.  Pregnant women who take Paxil during their first trimester have an increased risk of giving birth to a baby with birth defects.  These defects include giving birth to a child with holes in the walls of the chambers of their heart (atrial and ventricular septal defects).

To learn more about Paxil, visit our Frequently Asked Question’s page.

How Can a Paxil Lawyer Help?

If you or a loved one took Paxil and later gave birth to a child with serious birth defects, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the child’s injuries.   You should consult with a Paxil attorney to determine whether you have a valid legal claim against the drug manufacturer.  Moreover, if you took another prescription drug while pregnant and your baby suffered a birth defect, contact a birth defects attorney today.  Most of the attorneys at LawInfo.com offer free initial consultations.