Are there any special considerations in a case involving Paxil?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Paxil was approved by the FDA for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder in 1992. The FDA later approved the use of Paxil for treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, in 2001. At that time, however, the FDA also required that Paxil’s manufacturer increase the level of warnings to deal with the fact that the manufacturer had never adequately warned of the serious side effects many people suffered when attempting to withdraw from Paxil. In fact, Paxil had, at that point, been marketed for years as being non-habit forming when, in fact, many patients continued to use it simply to avoid the severe withdrawal symptoms.

If you or your loved one suffered serious side effects from withdrawal or were unable to discontinue using Paxil, you may have a case against the manufacturer for not emphasizing this information. Depending on when you started taking Paxil, you may also have a case against your doctor if, in fact, the warnings had been changed before you started taking Paxil and your doctor never adequately warned you about the problems with withdrawing from Paxil.

If your child suffered from birth defects or persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) after the mother took Paxil during pregnancy, you may have a cause of action against the manufacturer for failing to adequately warn you or against the treating doctor for not warning about the dangers of using Paxil during pregnancy.

Another issue arises in that the FDA never approved Paxil for use in treating depression and other mental disorders in children. Nonetheless, Paxil’s manufacturer promoted the use of Paxil for children for many years. Paxil does not appear to adequately treat children suffering from depression. In addition, the use of Paxil has been linked to increased suicidal tendencies in children and adolescents. If your child used Paxil and attempted or committed suicide, you probably have a cause of action for damages against the manufacturer. You may also have a cause of action against your child’s doctor. Although Paxil was promoted as helping children, the FDA did not approve it for that use and your child’s doctor should have been aware of that.

Finally, Paxil has been linked with increased suicidal and homicidal tendencies in adults. Again, this appears to be a tendency that the manufacturer was aware of but chose to downplay or ignore. If your loved one committed or attempted suicide while taking Paxil, you may have a claim against the manufacturer.

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