Approximately eleven percent of women in America take antidepressant drugs including Paxil, even while pregnant, a News Factory article reported. Recent lawsuits and studies have linked Paxil with an alarming incidence of birth defects such as malformed hearts.
A study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine said, “30 percent of babies with prenatal antidepressant exposure showed symptoms of withdrawal such as tremors, breathing problems, stomach problems, sleep issues, rapid heartbeat, irritability and profuse sweating,” in addition to other reports of physical birth defects.
Paxil manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline reportedly reserved $2.4 billion for legal issues related to the anti-depressant. Lawsuits against the Glaxo allege that the company deliberately failed to warn patients of the serious dangers of birth defects in babies of pregnant women who took Paxil, the article said.
Dr. Maria Carmen Palazzo, a psychiatrist and clinical investigator on Paxil studies conducted by Glaxo pleaded guilty in August 2010 to “15 counts of failing to prepare and maintain records with the intent to defraud and mislead,” in Paxil drug research trials a Lawyers and Settlements article said. Palazzo was said to have reported false symptoms in her study subjects and included children in major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder studies who were not properly diagnosed, the article continued.
Nearly one thousand lawsuits have been brought against Glaxo over failure to report the serious risk of birth defects in babies of mothers on the drug, and potential for suicide in children who take Paxil. The article reported that in July, Glaxo paid more than a billion dollars to settle over 800 of the lawsuits against the company, leaving over a hundred lawsuits still pending.
Attorney Newswire Staff. (August 23, 2010) “Glaxo To Settle Paxil Birth Defect Cases, Noted Attorney Jim Fitzgerald Offers Insight.” Retrieved on September 8, 2010 from the News Factory website: http://thenewsfactory.com/2010/08/23/glaxo-to-settle-paxil-birth-defect-cases-noted-attorney-jim-fitzgerald-offers-insight/
Turner, Heidi. (September 2, 2010) “Paxil Researcher Pleads Guilty to Charges.” Retrieved on September 8, 2010 from the Lawyers and Settlements website: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/articles/14898/paxil-side-effects-lawsuit-birth-defects-22.html