The Nature of the Drug: Paxil is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It increases the brain’s exposure to the neurotransmitter serotonin, and is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder.

The Hazards of Paxil: Adults and children taking Paxil have experienced a number of dangerous side effects. Pregnant women face two major hazards based on evidence from thousands of Paxil users: higher-than-normal risk of death; and birth defects. Birth defects have included spina bifida, autism spectrum disorder, malformed limbs, scoliosis, and cleft lip or palate. Also, women who took Paxil in the second and third trimester of pregnancy were twice as likely to have a child with autism as those who did not take the drug. The risk of birth defects from Paxil is twice as great as the risk of birth defects from other antidepressants.

The drug may also produce health problems in its users. Paxil cause the condition serotonin syndrome, which can lead to hallucinations, hypertensive crisis, and death. And children and adolescents may be at increased risk for suicide. Paxil has been prescribed to many minors, in spite of its never being approved for persons eighteen or under.
All SSRIs pose some risk of addiction; Paxil seems to be especially addictive. Children have been born addicted to it as well.

Because of the many risks that Paxil’s manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline may have covered up or failed to warn about, former Paxil users have filed lawsuits.

To Obtain Legal Relief: Persons who have been injured by taking Paxil, or whose children have birth defects or autism, may have valuable legal rights. Attorney Stephen A. Katz is available at (800) 251-3529 for a free consultation, or for legal representation.