Paxil Nightmare — Birth-Defect Lawsuits Mounting — (WEBWIRE)

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Since the once-touted antidepressant Paxil was first prescribed to a patient in 1992, the number of Paxil birth-defect lawsuits filed against its maker GlaxoSmithKline has skyrocketed. Paxil has been shown to cause heart abnormalities known as atrial and ventricular septal defects, which means that an infant is born with holes in the walls of its heart’s chamber. Paxil may also cause persistent pulmonary hypertension in an infant, which is a potentially fatal lung condition. This malady is caused by abnormally high pressure in the blood vessels of the new infant’s lungs. This keeps the baby oxygen starved, and if it survives, the child may need intensive care for a long period of time. In addition to these serious birth defects GlaxoSmithKline advised physicians in 2005 of even more birth defects caused by Paxil. They include:

  • Cranial birth defects that cause an infant’s skull to be deformed.
  • Abdominal birth defects such as having the infant’s intestine or other abdominal organs protrude from its navel.
  • Neural tube defects, which are birth defects of the infant’s brain and spinal cord.
  • Club foot, which is a birth defect that causes an infant’s foot to be stiff, turned inward and unable to be moved to a normal position.

FDA Issued an Alert

Paxil’s connection to these serious birth defects in babies became apparent in 2005 when the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert about the antidepressant. In the alert, the FDA ordered GlaxoSmithKline to put a warning label on the Paxil and advised that doctors not prescribe the antidepressant to any woman who planned to become pregnant or was in her first three months of pregnancy.

Number of Lawsuits Growing

Since then, there have been more than 600 lawsuits filed against the pharmaceutical giant by attorneys representing women who say their babies have been born with serious birth defects as a result of taking the drug during their first three months of pregnancy.The plaintiffs in the very first Paxil birth-defect case were awarded$2.5 million in compensatory damages on Oct. 13, 2009 as a result of their child being born with three cardiac birth defects, according to the Public Record. Since then, the maker of Paxil has paid out more than $1 billion to settle hundreds of similar lawsuits. Because many of these cases are settled quietly between the plaintiffs and corporate lawyers for GlaxoSmithKline, there is no way to be sure how many total cases are still pending.

Don’t let your time limit to file a lawsuit run out

If you or one of your loved ones took Paxil during the first three months of a pregnancy and you or their child was born with one of the above birth defects it’s time to seek legal representation before the time limit runs out. That’s because all lawsuits filed in the United States have an expiration date, although they vary from state to state. Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a Paxil lawsuit expires anywhere from two to six years. Why not contact an attorney who specializes in Paxil lawsuits today by visiting