Saturday, September 15, 2007

The use of Paxil can cause seizures during pregnancy

When Tammy Smithey learned she was pregnant in the fall of 2004, she called her ob-gyn to ensure that Paxil was safe for her to continue taking. Smithey had been on Paxil for a few years, but was concerned that it might have negative effects on her baby. Her ob-gyn told her that Paxil was okay to take while pregnant. On her first visit to the doctor, Smithey again asked whether or not she should be taking Paxil.

Again she was told that Paxil was okay to take while pregnant. So she continued taking it and did so throughout her pregnancy.Smithey says she was concerned because she did not gain any weight while she was pregnant, but other than that things seemed to be okay. The doctors had not raised any concerns about her taking Paxil, so she thought she was safe. However, when she went into labor, Smithey realized that something was very wrong. Initially, Smithey had to walk around in order to dilate. But she was in a lot of pain.

"It hurt a lot," Smithey says. "And I was bleeding." More problems arose as the labor developed. The baby's heart rate dropped when Smithey pushed, so Smithey was given oxygen. But the baby, a girl, was delivered pale and not breathing. She required immediate resuscitation and was taken out of the room immediately. "There was a problem with placenta after-birth separation," Smithey says. "Basically, it poisoned her." MaKenzie, the baby girl, was flown to Birmingham, where she would remain for 22 days.

"I couldn't even hold my baby for five days after she was born," Smithey recalls. "MaKenzie was kept on a coolant blanket while doctors checked her for brain damage." After three days MaKenzie was warmed up, but as that happened she started to experience seizures. MaKenzie was put on feeding tubes and given medication for her seizures.

She also had a ventricular septal defect, a hole in the wall that separates the heart's right and left ventricles, that needed to close up. After four months, MaKenzie, who is now two years old, was taken off her seizure medication because doctors felt the seizures were under control. However, a month ago MaKenzie developed a high fever and had another seizure.

Although doctors say the seizure was caused by the fever, Smithey says she's always on the lookout for more seizures.Smithey says that MaKenzie has been slower to develop than other children. "It was 21 months before she was walking," Smithey notes. "She was slow to sit and stand. Even now she's very wobbly when standing. She's also talking slowly for her age." Smithey says that the left side of MaKenzie's brain is slow because of possible damage to her right brain.

It was not until she saw commercials about Paxil that Smithey fully understood what had happened with MaKenzie. "The commercials said it messes with the placenta, and that's what happened to me," Smithey says, referring to her placental/after-birth separation.The whole family has been affected by MaKenzie's ordeal.

"My other daughter was 11 when MaKenzie was born," Smithey says. "She was in the delivery room for the birth. It was very upsetting for her to not know what was going to happen."For her part, Smithey wants to warn women not to take Paxil while pregnant. She says that the damage caused by Paxil outweighs the benefits.

And she holds the makers of Paxil accountable for what happened. "The makers of Paxil need to let doctors know more about its risks," Smithey says. For now, MaKenzie is only taking allergy medications while her family waits and sees what happens next. Smithey will continue to watch MaKenzie carefully for any signs that something is not right. While they do not want to limit MaKenzie in any way, the family is concerned about any problems that might arise as MaKenzie grows.

Paxil Heart Defects Legal HelpIf your baby was born with heart defects, and the mother took Paxil while pregnant, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [
Paxil Lawsuit] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.


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