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Paxil: Patient told it Was Safe

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Ontario, NYAlong with the women who have had babies born with serious birth defects because they were exposed to Paxil prior to birth are women whose babies have not yet appeared to have suffered serious effects. However, many of these women fear that just because problems have not yet surfaced does not mean they will not in the future. They worry that their children will suffer serious side effects later in life because of their exposure to Paxil.

NewbornRenee S. (not her real name) is in this situation. Her second son was born with no heart defects, although he did require oxygen after he was born and suffered withdrawal when he was taken off breast milk. However, Renee says that she is very concerned about her son's potential future health problems.

"I started taking Paxil in around November, 2001," Renee says. "In July, 2002, I found out I was pregnant. At the time, I was also taking Neurontin. When I found out I was pregnant, the doctors told me to get off the Neurontin right away, but they told me that Paxil was okay. So, I got off the Neurontin but I took Paxil the whole time I was pregnant and while I was nursing.

"When I switched my son to formula he started crying all the time. I thought at first that he might have an ear infection because he would cry and cry and cry. The second day, I thought it was strange that he was still crying because he had been a happy baby.

"Three or four days later, I took him to a clinic and I told them the only thing that was different was the formula. Since he had been getting Paxil through me, I thought maybe he was going through withdrawal. I had terrible withdrawal when I tried to go off Paxil—I even went to the hospital and they put me back on it because I tried to go off it too quickly. The doctors told me to wean him down a little, by mixing half formula and half breast milk. I did that he gradually moved to regular formula.

"As far as I know, his heart is fine. I've never been told it wasn't. But, he had a speech delay, so he had speech therapy for two years. He is starting kindergarten in the fall and is now up to where he should be for his level.

"His oxygen was low when he was born and so he was given oxygen, but by that evening he was in the regular nursery. Other than that, he's been healthy. I'm really glad that nothing went wrong with him.

"My concern is whether anything in the future would come up because of this. Like, if something were to go wrong with his heart later in life. We've never had a reason to look at his heart so far, but could he have problems when he's older?"

"When the stories came up in the news about Paxil's classification being changed, I couldn't believe it. I got off one dangerous drug, but had I known that Paxil was a problem, I would have gotten off of it. I was told I could even take it while nursing. If I were to be pregnant now, I would not take Paxil. I just wish that I had all the information to begin with. I wish I had known the risks and had the chance to make the choice myself."

Many women are concerned about their children after their children were exposed to Paxil prior to birth. If you took Paxil while pregnant, contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options.



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