Paxil®, a psychiatric medication also known as paroxetine, has been linked to severe pregnancy complications such as miscarriages, fetal heart malformations, and premature births. Because of these issues, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has downgraded Paxil to a “D” rating for pregnant women.
Miscarriages and premature births
A research study has shown that women who take antidepressants such as Paxil are much more likely to experience miscarriages than women who do not take antidepressants.1 However, the authors of the study said they have not established a cause-and-effect relationship, meaning that other factors may have influenced the results. The women with depression were more likely to be low-income, have diabetes or asthma, and live in an urban environment.
WebMD has also reported that Paxil can increase the risk of premature births, although the site has not quoted any statistics to support this claim.2
The FDA issued a press release in 2009 warning women and medical professionals about the risks of Paxil.3 Paxil can increase the risk of children being born with heart malformations by a factor of 1.5 to 2. Most of the defects that doctors observed were holes in the walls of the heart’s interior chambers. Some of these defects required surgery, while others did not.
Complications after birth
According to literature from Paxil’s manufacturer, many other complications can appear after a baby is born.2 These may include:
- Breathing issues
- Body temperature problems
- Low blood sugar
- Constant crying
These difficulties may require keeping a baby in the hospital until he or she is able to breathe and behave normally.
If you or one of your relatives has experienced pregnancy issues due to taking Paxil, and your doctor did not warn you about the risks of the medication, you may want to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Contact an attorney in your area to discuss problems with birth defects, premature births, or miscarriages related to Paxil.