The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will announce in the December issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology their opinion that pregnant women and those who plan to become pregnant should avoid taking Paxil, a common anti-depressant, because of the risk the drug poses to a developing fetus’ heart.
Paxil drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline found in a 2006 study that babies born to women who took Paxil during the first three months of their pregnancy were significantly more likely to have heart problems at birth than those born to women taking other anti-depressants or none at all. The drug has been reclassified to reflect the risk it poses to fetuses, and a warning has been put on the label. If you or a woman you care about is taking Paxil or another SSRI, such as Zoloft or Prozac, urge her to discuss the potential risks of this drug with her doctor and to seek alternative depression treatments.
In Tennessee, more people die every year from suicide than from drunk driving, homicide, or AIDS. The estimated 750 lives that suicidal depression takes every year in this state barely hints at the number of people living with depression in Tennessee and across the country. It is thus highly likely that you or someone you know is taking Paxil or a similar drug. If this, or any other prescription medication, has had a harmful effect on you or your baby, you may be able to file a claim against the manufacturer. Save your prescription bottle and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
It is up to all of us to make sure that drug manufacturers and healthcare providers are aware of these recent findings and take them into account when developing treatments for us and those we love. After all, the future of Tennessee depends on it.