Reporting on Health – November 7, 2013 By Martha Rosenberg On the surface, Johnson & Johnson’s $2.2 billion settlement this week for illegally marketing drugs…
Antidepressants strive to increase the levels of a “coping” molecule known as serotonin in the brain. It supposedly helps us find happiness when it’s covered in an avalanche of nastiness. But, it’s never been proven.
GlaxoSmithKline, maker of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Paxil, is mired in a class action lawsuit in Canada that alleges the antidepressant caused birth defects in children whose expectant mothers took the drug without the corporation’s adequate warning of the heightened risks. A British Columbia judge permitted the class action.
“We estimate there are more than 200 children across Canada who were born with cardiovascular defects because their mothers were on Paxil during pregnancy,” said David Klein, one of the lawyers representing Gibson. “The information from GlaxoSmithKline was totally inadequate with respect to using the drug while pregnant.”
Autism, birth defects, persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) — these are among the many serious health conditions newborn babies face whose mothers take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and certain other antidepressant drugs during pregnancy. The side effects of SSRIs are so serious for pregnant women, in fact, that two prominent doctors recently came forward with warnings to pregnant women against taking the drugs, which can cause potentially deadly complications for both unborn babies and their mothers.