MN, Smithkline Beechman, Paxil & Birth Defects

MN, Smithkline Beechman, Paxil & Birth Defects: A recent case in the United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Northern Division recently ruled on a motion to remand.

MN, Smithkline Beechman, Paxil & Birth Defects case documents what many paxil prescription drug users may be experiencing today – potential birth defects (e.g., atrial & septal heart defects) in their child from the use of paxil (e.g., for depression while pregnant) during pregnancy. The court ruled: IT IS ORDERED that the plaintiffs’ motion, Doc. 56, to remand is denied.

A brief summary of the case:

  • Plaintiff Elaine Nieman was prescribed Paxil by her family physician.
  • Paxil was manufactured by defendant SmithKline Beecham Corporation.
  • When Elaine became pregnant in approximately August 2001, she was referred to an obstetrician because her medical conditions made her pregnancy high risk.
  • Plaintiff M.N. was born prematurely by cesarean section on March 13, 2002.
  • She was born with atrial septal and ventricular septal defects, allegedly caused by Elaine’s ingestion of Paxil during the pregnancy.
  • M.N. is treated by a pediatric cardiologist.
  • Plaintiffs and their physicians all reside in South Dakota.

To find out more about the case, please follow this link: 1:13-CV-01022-CBK – January 5, 2015.


Since September 2005, scientific evidence has revealed that SSRI antidepressants, such as Paxil, Zoloft (sertraline), Prozac (fluoxetine), and Lexapro (escitalopram), may cause birth defects in children whose mothers took these or other SSRI antidepressants during pregnancy. The same has been shown for SNRI (serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants like Effexor (venlafaxine).

Studies have linked the use of Depakote and SSRI/SSRIs like Paxil and Zoloft during pregnancy with an increased risk of birth defects like:

  1. heart congenital defects (cardiac birth defects in babies, risk birth injury defects)
  2. heart valve defects (holes in the walls of the chambers of the heart)
    1. atrial septal defects (ASD)
    2. ventricular septal defects (VSD)

in newborns when Paxil or Zoloft is taken during the pregnancy (possibly the first first three months of pregnancy) and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN), a life-threatening respiratory condition that affects a baby’s ability to breathe after birth.

For other prescription drugs that may be linked to birth defects, please follow these links: Depakote, Zoloft, Birth Defect .


At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you have a child that has a birth injury, birth defect or birth defects (e.g., heart defects, PPHN, heart or lung defect) that you believe may have been caused by a defective drug, e.g., paxil – and need help filing a paxil lawsuit, contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.