GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is a gigantic global pharmaceutical company that offers the embattled antidepressant drug Paxil. Why is it embattled you might ask? Because out of all of the defective drugs offered by Glaxo (or any other pharmaceutical conglomerate) it seems Paxil has the most woes.
First off, it is merely a part of a larger antidepressant drug family known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). They inhibit the enzymes that stop the over production of serotonin in the body because serotonin has been proven to promote feelings of well-being.
The theory is that depressed people have problems producing serotonin. However, their serotonin levels are rarely tested before the doctor simply prescribes the drug and sends the depressed patient on their merrily medicated way. This can lead to serious problems later. First, lets focus on Paxil’s problems now.
Problems With Paxil
Last year, they were fined $750 million to settle civil and criminal charges that it made and sold adulterated drugs to Medicaid and other government payers. This was a violation of the False Claims act. Paxil was being shipped to the US with inconsistent dosages amongst other sanitation and material quality concerns. These inconsistent dosages could lead to serious consequences for patient such as no treatment or overdose after the patient simply followed their doctor and pharmacist’s instructions.
It is estimated that, even though Glaxo was ordered to pay $750 million, the whole fraud against the American medical system was estimated at nearly $6 billion. Glaxo is a foreign company that stole billions of American tax dollars and is still allowed to do business in the US.
However, their comeuppance is being found not in the halls of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but in the halls of justice as they have so far settled over $1 billion in lawsuits concerning Paxil side effects.
Paxil Side Effects
The side effects of Paxil are many, just like any other drug. Some are minor and irritating, it comes with the businesses of taking a particular drug. However, it is the potentially life threatening side effects of Paxil that are the biggest concerns for victims and their families.
Paxil Side Effects Include:
- Allergic reaction – difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips or tongue or difficulty swallowing.
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Racing or abnormal heart rate
- Short Term Memory Issues
- Suicidal thoughts
Paxil Birth Defect Lawsuits
Though there was speculation for many years surrounding birth defects after Paxil hit the market in 1992, it wasn’t until 2005 that the FDA finally issued a warning regarding Paxil Birth Defects. However, even though research had determined a conclusive connection between Paxil and birth defects, the FDA still neglected to issue forceful warnings about the use of Paxil by pregnant women.
“FDA is advising patients that this drug should usually not be taken during pregnancy, but for some women who have already been taking Paxil, the benefits of continuing may be greater than the potential risk to the fetus. Women taking Paxil who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant should talk to their physicians about the potential risks of taking the drug during pregnancy. Women taking Paxil should not stop taking it without first talking with their physician.”
Certainly, few physicians prescribe any type of SSRI to a pregnant woman now, but as near as five years ago, they were still considered it an acceptable risk above depression. Yet, some of the birth defects that have been found in infants born to Paxil patients have had some potentially life-threatening birth defects.
Paxil Birth Defects Include:
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Neural Tube Defects
- Infant Omphalocele
- Club Foot
- Anal Atresia
- Lung Defects
National Paxil Lawyers
These side effects make it apparent that the only way pharmaceutical companies can truly be forced to change is through victims holding them accountable by employing their constitutional rights to seek compensation for harm caused by the company’s actions by filing defective drug lawsuits.
Phillips Law Firm is a team of experienced defective drug attorneys with a proven track record of successful defective drug litigation. If you or a love one have been adversely effected by a defective drug, call us today for a free consultation and to find out your legal rights as a patient.