Paroxetine hydrochloride, the generic name for Paxil, is an antidepressant. It used to treat mental depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (SAD), premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Paroxetine is one of several medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medicines are thought to work by increasing the activity of the chemical serotonin in the brain.

People take this drug to feel better, mentally. Unfortunately, it can have some very serious negative side effects. Especially if the patient taking it is pregnant.

Critical Complications of Paxil

In July 2006, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding two critical complications: an increased risk of Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension, and life-threatening Serotonin Syndrome.

The FDA advised careful consideration of prescribing SSRIs to pregnant women. There have been many cases of birth defects identified in newborns whose mothers took Paxil during pregnancy. Most of these were heart defects. The long-term effects on newborn babies are not yet known.

Serotonin Syndrome occurs when Paxil is used with SSRIs or SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and Triptan medications. Triptan drugs are typically prescribed to alleviate headaches.

The Syndrome symptoms include confusion, diarrhea, fever, poor coordination, restlessness, shivering, sweating, talking and acting with excitement you cannot control, and trembling, shaking, or twitching.

Specific Complications

Deadly complications include:

  • Increased risk of Neonatal Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension, which may lead to pulmonary hypertension in infants
  • Life-threatening Serotonin Syndrome with combined use of SSRIs or SNRIs and Triptan medications.
  • Worsening of depression
  • Suicidal ideation and behavior
  • Increased risk of suicidality in children, adolescents, and young adults

Additional Paxil Complications

Other serious complications affect only a small group of individuals, but they still can be serious:

  • Blindness
  • Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
  • Coma
  • Decreased vision
  • Depression
  • Epileptic seizure that will not stop
  • Fluid-filled skin blisters
  • High blood pressure

Other dangerous, though not typical, complications include:

  • Lockjaw
  • Low blood pressure
  • Painful or prolonged erection of the penis
  • Seizure or coma late in pregnancy
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Slow heart rate
  • Unusual or decreased blood cell production

If you, your child, or any other family member are suffering from any of these complications, often brought on by taking Paxil, you may need to seek a legal remedy to help cover medical bills, pain and suffering.

How Weitz & Luxenberg Can Help

As a nationally recognized personal injury law firm, Weitz & Luxenberg is committed to helping clients win cases. For more than 25 years, we have dedicated ourselves to holding irresponsible practitioners accountable, and we have won $17 billion for our clients.