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paxil-defects

Paxil & Birth Defects

Birth Defects Caused by Paxil

Manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Paxil is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) or other anxiety disorders. However, recent studies have linked the use of Paxil to serious birth defects when taken during pregnancy.


The law firm of Miller Weisbrod, LLP, represents individuals nationwide who have suffered serious pregnancy side effects of Paxil. If your infant has suffered from a heart defect or persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn (PPHN) due to the use of Paxil during pregnancy, we invite you to contact us to discuss your real options for pursuing legal action.

What Is Paxil?

Paxil, known generically as paroxetine, is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Along with other SSRIs such as Zoloft (sertraline) or Prozac (fluoxetine), it is designed to increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, thereby lifting your mood.


Despite these helpful effects, many recent studies have shown the various birth defects Paxil can cause, including:

  • Heart defects, particularly atrial or ventricular septal defects
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn (PPHN), a life-threatening condition which causes increased pressure in the lungs and can lead to respiratory failure shortly after birth
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), a malformation of the chambers and valves in the left side of the heart
  • Neural tube defects, including spina bifida or anencephaly
  • Craniosynostosis, or premature fusing of the cranial bones causing disfiguration
  • Omphalocele, in which abdominal organs form outside the body
  • Club foot or cleft palate

Most of these defects are caused during the first trimester, but there are noted risks of taking Paxil at any time during pregnancy. In 2006, the FDA noted that women who took Paxil any time after the 20th week were six times more likely to have an infant who developed persistent pulmonary hypertension in a newborn (PPHN).


Additionally, infants can experience withdrawal symptoms such as seizures, muscle stiffness or difficulties feeding following birth if their mother took Paxil during the last three months of pregnancy. Recent studies have also shown links between the use of Paxil and other SSRIs and children who develop autism.

Contact Us

The attorneys of Miller Weisbrod are nationally recognized for their leadership in holding big pharmaceutical companies to account for negligent actions. With demonstrated experience handling a variety of complex pharmaceutical and medical malpractice cases, we have the resources and confidence to help clients protect their rights.


For more information and to submit a claim, contact us at 214.987.0005 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please call our toll-free line at 888.987.0005. You may also contact us by e-mail today for answers to your questions or to schedule an appointment.