ADVOCATING FOR VICTIMS INJURED BY ANTIDEPRESSANT PAXIL
Paxil (paroxetine) is one of the top selling antidepressant medications in America. Paxil is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and was introduced to the market in 1992. The medication is used to treat major depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults.
Like most pharmaceutical drugs, there are minor and serious side effects to keep watch for, including:
- Decreased appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Irregular breathing
- Weight loss
- Loss of pleasure
- Stomach pain
- Chest tightness
- Decreased vision
- Body swelling
Paxil is in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class. SSRIs have been linked to several severe side effects, including increased risk of suicidality, serotonin syndrome, and birth defects in newborns of women taking SSRIs.
SEROTONIN SYNDROME CAUSED BY SSRI ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS
One of the biggest dangers of antidepressants and SSRIs is serotonin syndrome. The potentially life-threatening condition occurs when your body as too high of a level of serotonin, which is often caused by SSRIs like Paxil.
Symptoms of serotonin syndrome include:
- Dilated pupils
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
Serotonin syndrome can be deadly if left untreated.
PAXIL LINKED TO POTENTIALLY DEADLY BIRTH DEFECTS
Epidemiological studies have shown that infants exposed to Paxil in the first trimester of pregnancy have an increased risk of congenital defects. The risk of defects especially includes cardiovascular malformations, such as ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects.
The Paxil patient medication guide warns that if a woman becomes pregnant while taking Paxil, she should be advised of the potential harm to her unborn child. In some cases, women may be advised to consider taking a different antidepressant medication with a decreased risk of causing severe and potentially deadly birth defects to their unborn child.
Unborn children exposed to Paxil may experience complications immediately following delivery, including breathing problems, seizures, vomiting, feeding difficulties, tremors, and constant crying. Infants of women taking any SSRI or serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) during pregnancy are at risk of developing serotonin syndrome, drug discontinuation syndrome, or persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). These illnesses can prove to be fatal for a newborn child.
ANTIDEPRESSANTS, PAXIL MAY CAUSE INCREASE OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS OR ACTIONS
The FDA requires all antidepressant medication manufacturers to include a disclaimer in the patient medication guide regarding suicidality. Paxil and other antidepressant drugs may increase suicidal thoughts and actions in children, teenagers, or young adults, especially during the first few months of treatment or when the dose is altered.
Patients with major depressive disorder taking Paxil may experience a worsening in their depression or a new emergence of suicidal thoughts or behaviors. Families and caregivers of individuals taking antidepressants are urged to monitor their actions, thoughts, and behaviors and report these symptoms to their healthcare provider. Individuals taking Paxil or other antidepressant drugs should talk with their doctor if they exhibit any signs of worsening of their depression.
PAXIL MANUFACTURER GLAXOSMITHKLINE FINED FOR ILLEGAL MARKETING
In 2012, GSK was fined by the United States Justice Department for illegal marketing of several of their products for “off-label” uses, including Paxil. For years, GSK marketed the antidepressant for unapproved usage in children and teens, paying physicians and pharmaceutical sales reps to push the drug for that purpose and withholding data about the drug the entire time. A study discovered that Paxil was ineffective in treating depression in children and teens compared to a placebo and actually increased the likelihood of suicidal behaviors.
GSK was also found to have hired a company to publish a medical article pushing the effectiveness of Paxil in teens and children. The article was full of false information, claiming Paxil could be used to treat child depression. The Justice Department accused GSK of using this bunk article to push the drug and increase sales. In addition, GSK was found to have provided lavish treatment, including luxury resorts and fancy dinners, to prescribing psychiatrists.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration mandated that all antidepressants, including Paxil, include a black box warning that notified users of the increased risk of suicidal tendencies in children, adolescents, and young adults. This warning is found at the beginning of every antidepressant patient medication guide.
INJURED AFTER TAKING PAXIL? CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DANGEROUS DRUG LAWYER
If you or a loved one have been harmed after taking Paxil, contact Thomas J. Henry. Whether you suffered injuries from a severe side effect or gave birth to a child with birth defects while taking Paxil, we are here to help you. Our experienced dangerous drug lawyers are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your case. You may be entitled to compensation for you or your child’s injuries or illnesses.