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New information indicates that pregnant women who suffer from mental illness, such as depression and panic disorder, must be careful when taking a particular drug used to treat such diseases. According to the FDA, exposure to paroxetine, also known as Paxil, in the first trimester of pregnancy, may increase the risk of birth defects, particularly cardiac malformations.

The manufacturer of Paxil has strengthened its warnings regarding the drug, at the FDAs request. Doctors are urged to warn women being treated with Paxil of the risks if they are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. According to the FDA, women who are taking Paxil and planning a pregnancy should talk with their doctor about their Paxil use. However, the FDA advises that women should not stop taking the drug without talking to their doctor first. Sadly, women who need medication to treat a mental illness must be afraid of serious birth defects if they take medication while pregnant.

To read the FDA safety alert please go to their Paxil Warning

Sheller, Ludwig and Badey is currently pursuing litigation against the manufacturer of Paxil regarding side effects of the drug.

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