Paxil Side Effects: From Birth Defects to Suicide

by | Feb 22, 2011

In December of 2005, The FDA issued a warning about Paxil causing birth defects in infants whose mothers took this drug during the first trimester of pregnancy.


The above linked website, appropriately named “Defective Drugs” mentions Paxil’s connection not only to specific heart defects, but also to a normally uncommon condition known as PPHN, (persistent pulmonary hypertension)—“a rare but life-threatening birth defect that can lead to multiple organ failure and death.”
The article describes this often deadly condition:
“Several months after the initial FDA alert on the risk of Paxil® birth defects, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study linking the popular antidepressant to PPHN. According to that study, women who used Paxil® after week 20 of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to a baby with PPHN than women who used no antidepressants during pregnancy.
“PPHN requires prompt diagnosis and treatment, and even still, the condition may prove fatal. Babies who survive the initial trauma of PPHN frequently suffer permanent damage—hearing and speech damage as well as damage to the brain, which can result in developmental delays and neurological deficits.”
In 2005, WebMD published the results of an FDA and GlaxoSmithKline study done on Paxil side effects:
“The expectation is that in the general population, the risk of cardiovascular defects is about one per 100 infants,’ GlaxoSmithKline spokeswoman Gaile Renegar tells WebMD.
“She says the studies show a risk of those heart-related birth defects is one per 50 babies born to women who used Paxil in early pregnancy.
“According to the FDA, early results from the two studies showed that women who took Paxil during the first three months of pregnancy were about 1.5 to two times as likely to have a baby with a heart defect as women who received other antidepressants or women in the general population.” 1


A mother risks the life of her child by taking Paxil during her pregnancy.  But the potential damage of this drug includes its effect on young people and adults as well.
Here is an alarming statistic, which according to Dr. Peter Breggin, (the famous psychiatrist who is opposed to the use of anti-depressant drugs) was buried in the FDA


GlaxoSmithKline study:
“Depressed people are 6.4 times more likely to become suicidal while taking an
antidepressant than while taking a sugar pill.” 2
Dr. Breggin continues:
“A few weeks before the FDA and GSK [GlaxoSmithKline] published their recent admission that Paxil can make adults more suicidal, I published a special report in Ethical Human Psychology and Psychiatry in which I released previously suppressed data indicating that GSK had manipulated its research results to hide the risk of Paxil-induced suicidality.”
This is Dr. Breggin’s chilling analysis of the actual number of suicides caused by Paxil use:
“If Paxil increased the rate of suicidality by more than six times in the drug company’s controlled clinical trials, it may be doing so by sixty times in actual practice. We can’t determine exactly how much greater the risk will be in clinical practice but it will be astronomically greater.”
Paxil Side Effects


The list of Paxil’s side effects is extremely long. Here are some of the most concerning: 3

  • Concentration Impaired – Unable to easily focus your attention for long periods of time.
    • Confusion – Not able to think clearly and understand in order to make a logical decision.
    • Crying Abnormal – Unusual and not normal fits of weeping for short or long periods of time for no apparent reason.
    • Depersonalization – A condition where one has lost a normal sense of personal identity.
    • Depression – A hopeless feeling of failure, loss and sadness that can deteriorate into thoughts of death.
    • Disorientation – A loss of sense of direction, place, time or surroundings as well as mental confusion on personal identity.
    • Dreaming Abnormal – Dreaming that leaves a very clear, detailed picture and impression when awake that can last for a long period of time and sometimes be unpleasant.
    • Emotional Lability – Suddenly breaking out in laughter or crying or doing both without being able to control the outburst of emotion.  These episodes are unstable as they are caused by things that normally would not have this effect on an individual.
    • Excitability – Uncontrollably responding to stimuli.
    • Feeling Unreal – The awareness that one has an undesirable emotion like fear but can’t seem to shake off the irrational feeling.  For example, feeling like one is going crazy but rationally knowing that it is not true.  The quality of this side effect resembles being in a bad dream and not being able to wake up.
    • Forgetfulness – Unable to remember what one ordinarily would remember.
    • Insomnia – Sleeplessness caused by physical stress, mental stress or stimulants such as coffee or medications; it is a condition of being abnormally awake when one would ordinarily be able to fall and remain asleep.
    • Irritability – Abnormally annoyed in response to a stimulus.
    • Jitteriness – Nervous fidgeting without an apparent cause.
    • Lethargy – Mental and physical sluggishness and apathy that can deteriorate into an unconscious state resembling deep sleep.  A numbed state of mind.
    • Libido Decreased – An abnormal loss of sexual energy or desire.
    • Panic Reaction – A sudden, overpowering, chaotic and confused mental state of terror resulting in being doubt ridden often accompanied with hyperventilation, and extreme anxiety.
    • Restlessness Aggravated – A constantly worsening troubled state of mind characterized by the person being increasingly nervous, unable to relax, and easily angered.
    • Somnolence – Feeling sleepy all the time or having a condition of semi-consciousness.
    • Suicide Attempt – An unsuccessful deliberate attack on one’s own life with the intention of ending it.
    • Suicidal Tendency – Most likely will attempt to kill oneself.
    • Tremulousness Nervous – Very jumpy, shaky, and uneasy while feeling fearful and timid.  The condition is characterized by thoughts of dreading the future, involuntary quivering, trembling, and feeling distressed and suddenly upset.

With the dangerous side effects of drugs like Paxil finally exposed, depressed individuals and those who love them might wish to seek alternative and natural treatment for their condition.4


1 Comment

  1. mary smith

    my husband is in jail because taking paxil and other drugs perscibed from VA clinic.He is in jail charged with aggravated murder.If you want to know more let me know.this is a terrible drug and i need your help


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