Thousands of women in Minnesota depend on anti-depressants to give them an improved outlook on life. While anti-depressants can be life-changing for people who suffer from depression and anxiety, research shows that some can also be dangerous to unborn children if taken by pregnant women.
Earlier this month, a court in Canada granted class-action certification in a lawsuit against the maker of the popular anti-depressant Paxil. The lead plaintiff in the case is a woman who says her baby was born with a hole in her heart because the woman took Paxil during the pregnancy.
The woman, whose daughter was born in 2005 with a hole between the ventricular chambers of her heart, said that she would have never taken the drug if she had been warned that it could negatively affect her unborn child.
The lawsuit against the giant pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline alleges that the firm knew or should have known that using Paxil during pregnancy could cause cardiovascular defects in newborns long before the company released such findings in 2005, two weeks after the woman’s daughter was born.
Since the lawsuit was certified as a class action at the beginning of the month, the court held that it will cover “any person in Canada, born with cardiovascular defects, to women who ingested Paxil while pregnant, and the mothers of those persons.”
Many lawsuits have also been filed in the United States against the drug maker by parents of children who allegedly suffered Paxil-related birth defects. So far they have all been actions brought by individuals, but it is possible that a class-action like the one in Canada could be filed in the future.
Source: The Vancouver Sun, “Court certifies B.C. woman’s class action against drug maker,” Tara Carman, Dec. 5, 2012