Depression Medication Recalls and Lawsuits

When you or a loved one is injured by someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation to get on the path to restoring financial, physical, and emotional well-being.

Paxil is a common antidepressant used to treat many mood disorders by helping to restore the balance of serotonin in the brain. Paxil is one of many antidepressants in the class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

Paxil has many uses for treatment including:

  1. Depression
  2. Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  3. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  4. Post-traumatic stress disorder
  5. Anxiety disorder
  6. Panic disorder

Many people with any of the above disorders have an unbalance of serotonin levels in their brains. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter found in the central nervous system and is responsible for maintaining a positive mood. Serotonin can be absorbed too quickly and result in a saddened state of mind. SSRIs like Paxil inhibit the reuptake of serotonin creating a positive mood.


Symptoms Caused by Paxil Use

Paxil, as well as other SSRIs, is a dangerous drug that causes many side effects and symptoms that can be worse than the symptoms the drug is meant to treat. Paxil may cause the following:

Paxil may cause the following:

  1. Feelings of depression
  2. Suicidal thoughts
  3. Headaches
  4. Tremors
  5. Mania
  6. Insomnia
  7. Apathy
  8. Diarrhea
  9. Impotence
  10. Muscle aches
  11. Heightened levels of risk taking
  12. Raised aggression
  13. Night tremors
  14. Schizophrenia
  15. Changes in sexual interest
  16. Weight and appetite changes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several alerts about the side effects, symptoms, and risks associated with the use of Paxil. One alert issued in July of 2006 stated the major risks of taking Paxil during pregnancy. Many other alerts were issued about the risks of taking Paxil in conjunction with other drugs such as migraine headache medications. Conditions can develop in patients and their children such as:

  1. Congenital malformations
  2. Primary cardiovascular malformations
  3. Persistent pulmonary hypertension
  4. Serotonin syndrome

Along with alcohol, some of the medications that should not be used in conjunction with Paxil include:

  1. Aurorex
  2. Nardil
  3. Marplan
  4. Eldepryl
  5. Parnate
  6. Lithium
  7. Warfarin
  8. Sumatriptan
  9. Tricyclic

Paxil also causes serious withdrawal symptoms when a patient ceases to use the medication after taking it for an extended period of time. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms are depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, and nausea.


Risperdal may cause growth of male breast tissue

Gynecomastia is a devastating condition for a man to have to live with, especially adolescent boys who are already dealing with physical changes. If you have gynecomastia, the condition causes the glandular tissue in your chest to swell, resulting in the appearance of breasts. Although gynecomastia is often caused by certain health problems, mounting evidence is beginning to link the condition to the use of Risperdal, an antipsychotic commonly prescribed to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental health problems.

In addition to developing swollen breast tissue on one or both sides of your chest, other signs of gynecomastia include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Breast pain
  • Discharge from one or both nipples

Dangerous drug lawsuits are mounting against the maker of Risperdal, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. Many of these claims allege that the drug maker failed to warn of the risks of gynecomastia and that the drug is defectively designed because it causes male breasts.

What is Gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is a condition in which a boy or a man develops enlarged glandular tissue, which leads to the appearance of having male breasts. Gynecomastia can be a devastating condition for males of all ages to have to live with. If you suffer from this condition, you may feel self-conscious and have low self-esteem. It may feel impossible to have confidence when interacting with people socially, professionally, or otherwise.

Some doctors and researchers believe Risperdal use, especially for young men who are taking the medication, is causing gynecomastia. Some have suggested that Risperdal raises the levels of prolactin in the people who take the drug. Prolactin is a hormone that is normally associated with milk production and breast development in females. Raised prolactin levels in males can cause breast tissue to grow and swell.

Typically the only way to reverse the development of male breasts is with breast reduction surgery. Many men cannot afford this surgery and are left living with this unbearable humiliation as a result.


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant. SSRIs are commonly prescribed to treat depression and anxiety. SSRIs include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, and Lexapro. Although these medications help many people treat depression and anxiety, SSRIs can have devastating side effects, including increasing the risk of birth defects for pregnant women who take the drug.

If you or a loved one has been severely injured by an SSRI, or have given birth to an infant with a birth defect after taking an SSRI, please call McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A., at 888-353-5513 for a free case evaluation. Our defective drug attorneys serve Columbia, Aiken, Orangeburg, and other locations across South Carolina.

SSRIs and Birth Defects

Women who take SSRIs while pregnant may increase the risk of birth defects. Possible birth defects linked to taking SSRIs during pregnancy include:

  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN)
  • Heart defects
  • Cleft palate
  • Spina bifida

Starting in 2006, regulators at the FDA became concerned about the risk of birth defects posed by SSRIs. In a 2006 Public Health Advisory, the FDA warned the public about the possible link between antidepressants and birth defects. In 2011, the agency released a safety communication warning of the link between SSRIs and heart and lung defects in newborns. Regardless, the FDA said doctors should not deviate from the practice of prescribing antidepressants during pregnancy.

If you were taking an SSRI while you were pregnant and your baby was born with a birth defect, you should contact our product liability attorneys right away. You may be eligible for compensation for your child’s injury, and your pain and suffering.

Severe Side Effects of SSRIs

In addition to birth defects, SSRIs have been linked to certain severe side effects, such as:

  • Suicidal behavior or suicide attempts
  • Serotonin syndrome (unusually high levels of serotonin)
  • Mania and panic attacks

If you or a loved one suffered a severe side effect of an SSRI that is not included in the drug’s warnings and label, you may be eligible for compensation for the injury or harm caused by the side effect.


Millions of people worldwide suffer from mental health disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Millions more have autism or Tourette syndrome. 5 million of the people suffering with these disorders have been prescribed Abilify, the top grossing antipsychotic in the world. This drug is listed at number 2 on the list of the top 10 best-selling drugs, raking in over 6 billion dollars a year, a number which continues to grow.

Howevedepressed man on the floorr, Abilify works by targeting the brain’s dopamine and serotonin receptors. With long term use, Abilify has been reported to cause neurological changes.

Multiple reports show a link to Abilify with symptoms such as:

• Compulsive gambling;
• Compulsive spending;
• Compulsive eating;
• Hyper sexuality;
• Shoplifting/stealing

Studies show these compulsive behaviors stop immediately or within days of stopping the drug. If you or a loved one has taken Abilify and experienced compulsive behaviors, such as gambling, eating, or spending, call McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A., at 803-353-5513 today to setup your free case evaluation. We have lawyers who are experienced in dangerous drug cases, and we have offices in Aiken, Camden, Columbia, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, and Sumter, South Carolina.

Do you have a Defective Drug Claim?

Certain elements must be present to pursue a defective drug claim. Your case also must fall within a certain timeline. Our experienced personal injury attorneys can determine if you may have a defective drug claim and present your legal options.

We can determine if the drug was unreasonably dangerous, or if the drug company failed to adequately warn of severe side effects or failed to provide adequate instructions for using the drug.

If you or a loved one was injured by a hidden side effect of a defective drug, or if you gave birth to an infant with a birth defect after taking an SSRI during pregnancy, please contact McWhirter, Bellinger & Associates, P.A., for a free case evaluation and to learn about our defective drug attorneys in Columbia and other locations across South Carolina.