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SSRI Birth Defects Claims from Users of Paxil on the Rise

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Philadelphia, PAGlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the pharmaceutical giant responsible for medications like Advair, Geritol and Zantac, has seen an increased number of lawsuits related to SSRI birth defects stemming from its popular antidepressant, Paxil.

Paxil, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), has resulted in three separate kinds of lawsuits since its introduction to the market in 1992: cases citing the medication's addictive nature, those citing the suicidal tendencies it can provoke and those that cite the frequency of birth defects in expectant mothers taking the medication.

SSRI medications have been linked to serious lung and heart defects in newborns, including persistent pulmonary hypertension, a disorder of the respiratory system that severely restricts the arteries causing the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery of the heart to rise to dangerous levels.

The Public Record claims that GSK has paid nearly $1 billion to resolve more than 600 legal cases related to Paxil.


Dr. Shira Kramer, an epidemiologist who testified against GSK in a birth defects lawsuit, said that expectant mothers taking the drug were "at a 46 percent increased risk of their child having a cardiovascular malformation diagnosed at birth compared to individuals who took other, other SSRIs."

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