In Light of a Recent Meta-Analysis of Paxil, The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. Announces that it Continues to Investigate Potential Paxil Birth Defect Claims

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A meta-analysis of published and unpublished clinical trial data, which was published in the journal PLOS ONE on Aug. 27, suggests GlaxoSmithKline overestimates the effectiveness of Paxil in the treatment of anxiety and depression.

Results from the study are concerning, especially since there are risks for certain patients, particularly pregnant women.

According to a new meta-analysis of published and unpublished clinical trial data, the popular antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) only offers a moderate advantage over a placebo for the treatment of anxiety and depression. According to the study, which was published on Aug. 27 in the journal PLOS ONE, maker of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), overestimates the effectiveness of the antidepressant in published data.

Paxil belongs to a class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are prescribed for the treatment of depression and anxiety disorders. Other SSRIs include citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Lexapro), fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft).

The study is the first to evaluate the performance of an SSRI for the treatment of anxiety; other studies have evaluated the efficacy in the treatment of depression. Study authors concluded, “Paroxetine provides only a modest benefit over placebo in treating symptoms of anxiety based on the available evidence. In addition, the current study supports previous work indicating that paroxetine treatment presents only a modest benefit over placebo in the treatment of depression.”

According to reports, SSRIs share common side effects, including an increased risk for complications in children whose mothers took the antidepressants during their pregnancies. One of the most recent studies to evaluate the effects of SSRIs on developing babies was conducted by researchers at John Hopkins University and published online at PubMed.gov on April 14, 2014. It concluded that boys with autism were nearly three times as likely to have been exposed to an SSRI during fetal development than boys with normal development.

Other studies also suggest that when babies are exposed to SSRIs during development, they have an increased risk for developing birth defects. A particular study (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors in pregnancy and congenital malformations: population based cohort study), for example, published by PubMed.gov on Sept. 23, 2009 found that babies whose mothers took SSRIs early in pregnancy were more likely to develop septal heart defects than those with no exposure.

“Results from the study are concerning, especially since there are risks for certain patients, particularly pregnant women,” said Melinda J. Helbock, Founder of The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. “In light of the recent study, we are announcing that we will continue to investigate birth defect claims on behalf of women who were prescribed Paxil and other similar antidepressants and who gave birth to babies with complications, including heart defects.”

About The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C.
The Law Office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. is a San Diego-based personal injury firm that represents individuals and families in claims involving defective drugs. The law firm advocates for child safety and represents babies and families in a range of birth defect claims, including those involving SSRIs such as Paxil. To learn more about the firm, visit http://www.helbocklaw.com.

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