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The Food and Drug Administration issued a health alert on September 27, 2005, to medical professionals and that GlaxoSmithKline changed the labeling on their popular antidepressant Paxil to reflect growing concerns about birth defects.

Women that took Paxil during their first three months of pregnancy were one and a half to two and a half times more like to have a baby with a serious heart defect as were women that received other antidepressants. This statistic shows that Paxil has extreme influence on babies.

One of the most common side effects of Paxil use is the development of heart problems such as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) in unborn children of women that use the drug. This condition is characterized by the failure of the newborn’s lungs to “switch over” to breathing air after birth, which can restrict the amount of oxygen to a baby’s delicate body. PPHN can result in a number of serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as hearing loss, heart or kidney failure, and death. This can not go unnoticed by pregnant women.

Many experts believe that because Paxil is used to treat an imbalance of the neurotransmitter Serotonin, it can have numerous adverse effects on an unborn child. This is scary to believe especially as the parent of a child, or in this case, an unborn child. Paxil is believed to cross over the umbilical chord and into the developing child. Many scientists believe that an imbalance of Serotonin in a baby’s body can affect the way the heart functions.

Some doctors saw that Paxil was effective in treating depression in children, although the drug is intended for adults. Unfortunately, Paxil actually increases depression in children, and in some cases led to suicidal thoughts and actions.

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