Paxil Recall Info

FDA Advising of Risk of Birth Defects with Paxil
Agency Requiring Updated Product Labeling

The Food and Drug Administration today is alerting health care professionals and patients about early results of new studies for Paxil (paroxetine) suggesting that the drug increases the risk for birth defects, particularly heart defects, when women take it during the first three months of pregnancy.  Paxil is approved for the treatment of depression and several other psychiatric disorders.  FDA is currently gathering additional data and waiting for the final results of the recent studies in order to better understand the higher risk for birth defects that has been seen with Paxil. 

FDA is advising health care professionals to discuss the potential risk of birth defects with patients taking Paxil who plan to become pregnant or are in their first three months of pregnancy.  Health care professionals should consider discontinuing Paxil (and switching to another antidepressant if indicated) in these patients.  In some patients, the benefits of continuing Paxil may be greater than the potential risk to the fetus.  FDA is advising health care professionals not to prescribe Paxil in women who are in the first three months of pregnancy or are planning pregnancy, unless other treatment options are not appropriate.

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.

The early results of two studies showed that women who took Paxil during the first three months of pregnancy were about one and a half 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. Most of the heart defects reported in these studies were atrial and ventricular septal defects (holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart). In general, these types of defects range in severity from those that are minor and may resolve without treatment to those that cause serious symptoms and may need to be repaired surgically.

In one of the studies, the risk of heart defects in babies whose mothers had taken Paxil early in pregnancy was about 2 percent, compared to a 1 percent risk in the whole population. In the other study, the risk of heart defects in babies whose mothers had taken Paxil in the first three months of pregnancy was 1.5 percent, compared to 1 percent in babies whose mothers had taken other antidepressants in the first three months of pregnancy.

FDA has asked the manufacturer, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), to change the pregnancy category from C to D, a stronger warning. Category D means that studies in pregnant women (controlled or observational) have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy may outweigh the potential risks to the fetus.

Based on results of the preliminary data, GSK updated the drug's labeling in September 2005 to add data from one study. As additional data have become available, the label has now been changed to reflect the latest data from the two studies and to change the pregnancy category.

Additional information concerning today's announcement is available on FDA's Web site at:

Public Health Advisory:
http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/advisory/paroxetine200512.htm


and CDER Information Sheets: http://www.fda.gov/cder/drug/infopage/paroxetine/default.htm


Verdicts & Settlements

Scott has been involved in numerous and diverse settlements and verdicts throughout his 18 year legal career.  He prides himself on taking care of the injured people he represents.  Scott has represented individuals from almost every state in the country and can point to settlements involving millions of dollars. Whether it be a faulty medical device, a flawed manufacturing process, a failed prescription drug or some other issue that has caused personal injury, Scott has the experience, determination and the integrity to represent a client’s interests aggressively and see that justice is served. The following examples are but a few of recent notable accomplishments:

  • Hundreds of Scott’s clients from numerous states received monetary awards in the Silicone breast implant litigation. These cases involved defective leaking or ruptured silicone implants which caused significant injury, illness and/or damage to women who relied on the manufactures of the implants.  Scott worked with the women all the way through to verdict or settlement and was responsible for ultimately settling client cases for millions of dollars.

  • Scott represented clients in the Rezulin litigation which involved a drug used by diabetics. The FDA ultimately removed the drug from the market due to liver and cardiac adverse events. Scott was involved in hundreds of hours of document review and depositions in the U.S. and Europe.  He deposed corporate witnesses who designed, manufactured, marketed and sold the drug and his clients received exceptional settlements.

  • Scott and his partner Ed Blizzard were involved in representing hundreds of individuals who suffered as a result of defective Sulzer hip and knee implant replacement joints.  Scott and Ed worked at both the state and federal level and were instrumental in developing documents and deposing corporate witnesses so that ultimately a global settlement of all claims was announced.  Scott and Ed were able to secure millions in settlement for their clients.

  • Scott represented many clients who encountered problems as a result of the diet drugs Pondimin and Redux.  He was involved with discovery committees, reviewed thousands of documents and deposed many corporate witnesses.  He tried many of these cases to verdict receiving large settlements for his clients. In December 2000, Scott tried a case in Philadelphia for two ladies from Utah who developed heart valve damage after taking the diet drug combination known as Fen-Phen. After a two week trial the jury awarded each of his clients $100 million dollars. This $200 million dollar verdict stands today as the largest Fen-Phen valvular heart disease verdict in the country. Because of this verdict, Scott was inducted into the Million Dollar and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

  • Scott’s clients in the Ephedra litigation were compensated well for the damages they suffered.  These cases involved  products such as Herbalife, Dexatrim, Stacker and Hydroxicut that were associated with heart attacks and strokes. He was heavily involved in developing justification documents and taking corporate depositions that ultimately led to large dollar settlements for his clients.  

Most recently, Scott began working on Paxil birth defect cases. Paxil is an antidepressant still used by millions of Americans daily.  In recent years, however, it has been associated with significant heart defects when ingested by women during the first trimester of a pregnancy.  Scott has been actively prosecuting these cases against GSK, maker of the drug. One of his cases was the first to be set for trial.  The case was resolved in favor of Scott’s client.

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