A newborn baby, Adrian Vasquaz, was fitted with a pacemaker in a Philadelphia hospital at the end of last month after he was born with severe heart defects. His mother had taken the antidepressant throughout the pregnancy, but it was only in the last month when a routine ultrasound discovered the heart problems.
The parents are claiming damages against the drug's manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), as it had not issued warnings about its use by pregnant women.
This is hardly the first time that bad news has surrounded paroxetine, one of the world's most widely used antidepressants. The SSRI is thought to be highly addictive, and it is almost impossible for patients to quit the drug without suffering severe withdrawal symptoms.
The drug, which has been marketed since 1992, enjoyed a major fillip to sales several years ago when it was the first drug to be licensed to treat 'social anxiety'.
(Source: Tragedy of Paxil Heart and Lung Birth Defects website).