If you’re feeling down, or if you’re a woman with difficult menstrual cycles, or if you can’t concentrate, Paxil will help you feel better and focus more clearly. That’s the marketing message for the highly prescribed and hugely profitable SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) from GlaxoSmithKline.
What the marketing hype tries to hide is that Paxil poses dangers for people of all ages, including children in the womb. Studies have linked Paxil to a 100% higher incidence of birth defects in children whose mothers used Paxil in the first trimester of their pregnancies than in children whose mothers did not use the drug. One of the common birth defects is a condition called persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN). Babies with PPHN have difficulty breathing, and many of them require significant medical care.
Other problems for children born to women who have taken Paxil in their first trimester include heart malformations and cranial defects which result in an abnormally shaped skull.
Despite the marketing claims, evidence that Paxil actually does what the manufacturer promises is extremely sketchy, while evidence that Paxil causes harmful and potentially deadly side effects is strong. And, people trying to quit the drug often find themselves painfully addicted.
Recently, Paxil was the subject of one of the most damning reports imaginable. In Paxil Study 329, researchers reached this amazing conclusion:
“There was no significant efficacy difference between paroxetine (Paxil) and placebo on the two primary outcomes or six secondary outcomes in the original protocol. At least 19 additional outcomes were tested. Study 329 was positive on 4 of 27 known outcomes (15%). There was a significantly higher rate of SAEs with paroxetine than with placebo. Consequently, study 329 was negative for efficacy and positive for harm.
Paxil’s effects have been so bad for so many people that an online support group has developed. The site even offers a free E-book called Paxil Withdrawal Guide.
In a 1999 case Paxil was implicated in causing a manic-depressive to become psychotic and to murder his wife.
With all the harm that Paxil does, it’s logical to ask why it’s still on the market, and the easy answer is money. Paxil makes a lot of it for GSK, and the profit margin is absolutely staggering.
In 2005, a study found that the cost of the generic active ingredient for 100 tablets of Paxil was $7.60, while the price to the consumer was $220.27.
Businesses will make plenty of donations to powerful people to protect a profit margin like that.
A more insightful answer to Paxil’s continued existence is that the FDA, which is supposed to protect consumers against dangerous drugs, is more interested in protecting the profits of drug makers. One reason for that obvious betrayal of the public trust is that drug manufacturers provide at least half of the FDA’s funding.
So, despite the lawsuits, the damaged babies, and the citizens groups, GSK is free to market Paxil aggressively as an elixir for just about anything that ails you. You can even go to GSK’s Paxil website and self-diagnose yourself for Social Anxiety Disorder (and, of course, a trip to your doctor for a Paxil prescription).
GSK, and other drug manufacturers, make such massive profits that they’re able to consider a $6.4 million lawsuit against them just another cost of doing business, like labor and raw materials. With their billions in profits, they can pay $6.4 million out of Petty Cash.
Drug companies must like lawsuits, or they wouldn’t willfully endanger the consumers who support them. So don’t be afraid to stand up for your rights if Paxil has harmed you or your baby.
If you or a family member have been wrongfully injured call us at 1.888.777.1776 or use this form, delays can hurt your case, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.