The February 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine stated that a women’s Paxil use during pregnancy can cause an extremely severe and fatal disease called Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH). This Paxil birth defect is frequently referred to as Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN). A woman that uses Paxil after the 20th week of pregnancy increases the risk of PPHN by six times compared to a woman not taking an anti-depressant.

What is PPHN?

PPHN is a deadly lung disease that can lead to heart failure. PPHN constricts the blood vessels that connect the heart to the lungs. This causes difficulty in circulating oxygen and makes the heart work harder to

circulate the blood through the lungs. PPHN can eventually cause the heart to wear out and lead to heart failure.

PPHN is a rare but fatal disease. PPHN affects only two out of a million babies born each year. There is, however, no cure for PPHN and the average lifetime after diagnosis is usually less than 3 years. In some rare situations, a sufferer of PPHN may live 10-20 years with early diagnosis and the proper treatment.

PPHN restricts the baby from circulating oxygen and deprives oxygen from the baby’s vital organs. This can lead to:

  • Shock
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart failure
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Multiple organ damage
  • Death

Even if a baby survives, s/he will often suffer the following life long problems:

  • Developmental delays
  • Hearing loss
  • Speech problems
  • Neurological deficits
  • Seizures

PPHN is a fairly new disease and, therefore, only 10-15 years of medical research exists. Medical professionals do not yet fully understand this fatal birth defect but they continue to learn about PPHN and attempt to find a cure.

Injured by PPHN?

If your child developed PPHN from Paxil use during pregnancy or if you would like more information on Paxil or its side effects, please contact us today. You may be entitled to compensation for your expenses and mental anguish.

Published November 17, 2011 by