Paxil Birth Defect - Club FootMay 16, 2008
Paxil and Club Foot
Keywords: Lawyer Paxil Club Foot Lawsuit Birth Defect
The lawyers and attorneys at our firm are currently offering free case evaluations to families with children who were born with Club Foot because their mothers took Paxil during pregnancy. Club Foot is a birth defect that, if not treated, will lead to significant discomfort and disability by the teenage years. Studies have indicated that babies are far more likely to develop Club Foot if they are exposed to Paxil in the womb. These babies face years of treatment, possibly involving surgery. Our Paxil birth defect lawyers are dedicated to making sure the families of these babies are compensated for the medical bills they incur, as well as the pain and suffering they endure.
If you were taking PAXIL during your pregnancy and your child has a Club Foot Birth Defect, then fill out the Free Case Review Form (located just to the right) or call 800-YOURLAWYER. There is No Cost To You.
The causes of Club Foot are not completely known, although genetics is thought to play some role. Environmental factors could also cause the disorder. A recent study conducted by the Institute of Reproductive Toxicology at the University of Ulm, Germany, noted that some women who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor antidepressants (SSRIs), such as Paxil, during pregnancy had infants born with Club Foot. A July 2007 article in the New England Journal of Medicine also found that women who took Paxil during pregnancy were at a 5.8 percent increase of having a child born with this defect.
Club Foot and its Treatment
Club Foot occurs when a newborn infant's foot is turned to the side and it may even appear that the top of the foot is where the bottom should be. The involved foot, calf, and leg are smaller and shorter than the normal side. The bones, joints, muscles, and blood vessels of the limb are also abnormal. A Club Foot occurs in approximately one in every 1,000 births, with boys slightly outnumbering girls. One or both feet may be affected.
Club Foot is treated with both non-surgical and surgical therapies, and most doctors will try to avoid surgery if possible. One non-surgical therapy for treating Club Foot is called the Ponseti method. It involves stretching, casting and bracing the limb to correct the Club Foot. With this method, the doctor changes the cast every week for several weeks, always stretching the foot toward the correct position. Once the foot has been corrected, the infant must wear a brace at night for two years to maintain the correction. While very effective, this treatment can be uncomfortable for an infant. It also has a risk of complications. While the child is in a cast, parents must watch for changes in skin color or temperature that may indicate problems with circulation.
Sometimes, surgery may be needed to adjust the tendons, ligaments and joints in the foot/ankle of a child with Club Foot. Usually done at 9 to12 months of age, surgery corrects all of a baby's Club Foot deformities at the same time. After surgery, a cast holds the Club Foot still while it heals. It's still possible for the muscles in a child's foot to try to return to the Club Foot position, and special shoes or braces will likely be used for up to a year or more after surgery. Unfortunately, surgery is not a complete cure, and will likely result in a stiffer foot than non-surgical treatment, particularly as the years pass by.
No matter what treatment is used, however, a corrected Club Foot will still not be perfect. The Club Foot will likely stay 1 to 1 1/2 sizes smaller and somewhat less mobile than the normal foot. The calf muscles in a child's Club Foot leg will also stay smaller. The treatment for a Club Foot - especially if it involves surgery - can be painful and traumatic for both the child and parents. The Paxil birth defect lawyers at our firm believe that GlaxoSmithKline should be held liable for this pain and suffering when Club Foot is the result of Paxil.
Paxil and Birth Defects
Paxil is one of the most popular antidepressants on the market, and by 2006, more than 19 million prescriptions had been written for the GlaxoSmithKline drug. Paxil was approved to treat symptoms of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia/social anxiety disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Paxil was the first antidepressant formally approved in the US for the treatment of social anxiety disorder.
Major depression in women is most common during the childbearing years, and about 10% of pregnant women have the condition, which is often treated with an SSRI like Paxil. Some studies suggest that babies born to mothers who took SSRIs while pregnant may have temporary withdrawal symptoms. And in 2005, preliminary data from two studies suggested that babies born to mothers who took Paxil in early pregnancy are 1½ to 2 times more likely to be born with a heart defect than babies in the general population. The Paxil birth defect lawyers at our firm believe that GlaxoSmithKline has engaged in a concerted effort to downplay Paxil's risks, an we intend to hold the drug maker accountable for this.
Legal Help for Victims of Paxil-Related Club Foot
Children born with Club Foot as a result of Paxil and their families have valuable legal rights. If you or someone you know have suffered because of this injury, please fill out our online form or call us at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to discuss your case with an experienced Paxil birth defect lawyer.