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Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are a type of antidepressant medication prescribed for treating depression, anxiety disorders and some personality disorders such as obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. A low level of serotonin is one of several symptoms of clinical depression; SSRIs are designed to elevate the level of this chemical. Serotonin is necessary to metabolize stress hormones in our body, and low levels of it can result in anxiety and depressive disorders.
SSRIs were initially thought to be safer than other anti-depressant medications, and it was believed they have fewer side effects and adverse interactions with other drugs. However, recent events suggest that this might not be the case. If you or a family memeber suffered ill effects after being prescribed an SSRI, our Florida pharmaceutical injury attorneys can pursue compensation on your behalf. Please call Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter at (855) 880-4741 for a free case review today.
SSRI Side Effects
Numerous side effects have been associated with these drugs, and they can also cause birth defects in the babies of women taking them during pregnancy.
SSRI side effects include, but are not limited to:
- Diminished libido
- Appetite/weight fluctuations
- Increased feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- Muscle ache/weakness
- Suicidal thoughts
SSRIs and Birth Defects
SSRIs have been linked to various health problems, most notably birth defects in children born to mothers taking the drugs during pregnancy. Zoloft (generic sertraline), manufactured by Pfizer Pharmaceutical, has been linked to infants being born with persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). Research has shown that infants born to mothers who took Zoloft or other SSRIs after their 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to have PPHN than infants born to mothers not taking anti-depressants during pregnancy.
Paxil (generic paroxetine), manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is prescribed for the treatment of depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and anxiety disorder and has become one of the most widely used SSRIs for treating anxiety disorders. Paxil has been named in several lawsuits involving adolescents and suicidal tendencies and suicide attempts.
There have been lawsuits that allege Glaxo promoted Paxil for use in children yet failed to provide information regarding its harmful side effects, including an increase in suicidal behavior.
Also, the risk of cardiovascular birth defects in infants born to mothers taking Paxil is significantly higher than infants born to mothers not taking the SSRI.
In addition to the potential for dangerous side effects and drug interactions, serious withdrawal symptoms have been known to occur when a patient stops taking Paxil after being on it an extended period of time. Withdrawal symptoms can include anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and nausea.
If you or a loved one has taken Paxil, Zoloft or any other SSRI and has developed any of the numerous side effects associated with these drugs, please contact our Orlando pharmaceutical injury lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation by calling (855) 880-4741 or completing the form on the Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter website.