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Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices News & Commentary on Prescription Drug & Medical Device Lawsuits

2007 – Paxil associated with serious birth defects

Posted in Paxil Birth Defects, SSRI Birth Defects

Depression and anxiety plague over 40 million Americans in the United States, leading these to be the most common mental illness in America.  There are some risks associated with all medications, and some studies suggest that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs) have the ability to cause harm or damage to a developing fetus or embryo.  These potential teratogenic effects that may be caused by these selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are linked with an increased risk for certain malformations.

Author BA Kallen, from the Tornblad Institute at The University of Lund in Lund, Sweden, worked on a study called “Maternal Use of Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors in Early Pregnancy and Infant Congenital Malformations”, where he identified women who had used SSRIs in their early pregnancy.  He studied their infants, who were born between July 1, 1995 and 2004.  The information he used was obtained from the Swedish Medical Birth Register.  In the report Kallen BA wrote, he stated “Congenital malformations were identified from that register, from the Register of Congenital Malformations, and from the Hospital Discharge Register. The effect of drug exposure was studied after adjustment for a number of identified maternal characteristics that could act as confounders.”  Hidden factors and unexpected circumstances regarding the mother are important to keep in mind in order to have a complete understanding of how the drugs affect the body.  The study identified 6,481 women who used SSRIs in early pregnancy, and 6,555 infants.

Further investigations done on cardiovascular defects showed an association between ventricular and atrial septum defects and the mothers use of paroxetine (Paxil).  Kallen further states, “No support for a postulated association between SSRI use and infant craniostenosis or omphalocele was found,” and while the risks for major malformations and the use of SSRIs in early pregnancy are not elucidated by this study, a number of other studies have shown clear connections between SSRI use and birth. “The association between paroxetine use and infant cardiovascular defects may be a result of multiple testing, but is supported by other studies.”

If you or a loved one used Paxil during pregnancy and your child was born with a birth defect, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation through a Paxil birth defects lawsuit. Call out team of Paxil® birth defects lawyers at the information below for a free, no-obligation case consultation.

(855) 452-5529


Our SSRI Birth Defects Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about SSRIs and Birth Defects.