With studies in the past decade showing an increased risk of certain birth defects for mothers taking Paxil during pregnancy, thousands of families have now contacted a Paxil Lawyer to discuss their legal options for a Paxil Lawsuit.
Although Paxil has not been recalled or taken off the market with news of possible birth defects, public concern over the drug is at an all time high. Now, new data suggests there may be risks of an entirely new side effect from taking the drug: Diabetes.
Research conducted in 2006 linked the popular antidepressant drug to serious heart, lung and musculoskeletal birth defects in infants of mothers taking the drug during their pregnancy.
This led to thousands of Paxil birth defect lawsuits being filed by Paxil attorneys on behalf of affected families and a mass settlement in July of 2010. Hundreds of lawsuits, however, still remain.
As litigation unfolded, evidence showed the maker of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, actually knew of a possible risk years ago but did nothing to warn consumers and may have actually tried to bury negative results.
Now, the drugmaker faces additional scrutiny after a study was published last month in the Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics journal showing that when Paxil is taken combined with a popular cholesterol medication, it can raise blood sugar levels. Chronic increasing of blood sugar levels can lead people to develop diabetes.
Researchers discovered that patients who took both Paxil and Pravachol, they had a higher risk of blood sugar levels that were substantially elevated. The same results were not shown when the drugs were taken separately.
Also, it is interesting to note that, while the Paxil birth defects have been linked to other drugs in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) class such as Zoloft, researchers in this study did not see the same risk of elevated blood sugar when combining other SSRI drugs with Pravachol.
Likewise, the risks did not show when combining Paxil with other statin drugs in the same class as Pravachol.
The study did not measure any effects of blood sugar levels on women who were pregnant. However, researchers are concerned with the fact that both Paxil and Pravachol are two of the most heavily prescribed drugs on the market. They estimate that between 540,000 and 710,000 patients take both drugs at the same time.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans each year, with the rate growing sharply in recent decades. It is characterized as elevated levels of sugar in the bloodstream.
Symptoms of diabetes can include weight loss, frequent urination, blurred vision, fatigue, thirst and nausea. Type II diabetes, which can be triggered by poor health and diet, is growing at epidemic levels among both adolescents and adults.
Based on the results of this study, scientists have called on further research to investigate more widespread risk and whether physicians need to alter their prescribing of the two medications.