Paxil has been known to cause some potentially deadly side effects, but there is another side effect that has been getting some attention lately — anal atresia. Until recently, most people associated Paxil and other SSRIs with side effects like aggressive behavior, suicidal thoughts and behavior and other birth defects. However, reports show that anal atresia is yet another potential birth defect that can occur when pregnant women take Paxil.

Anal atresia (also called imperforate anus) is a terribly difficult birth defect because it causes problems with the baby’s rectum and generally requires immediate surgery. In some cases, the condition is so bad that it has to be treated with a perineal anoplasty or a colostomy which will help to divert the stool’s path so that the baby can pass a bowel correctly. The condition causes lesions to form in and around the rectum. This condition makes it hard for the baby to have a hard time controlling their bowel movements and can constipate them. If the lesion in the rectum is low, bowel movement can be corrected; however there is still a chance of the baby becoming constipated.

Anal atresia can be hard on baby’s small body, and it can be devastating on the peace of mind of the parents. The cost of surgeries can also be quite burdensome — and the fact that it can be prevented by avoiding Paxil just makes it worse. This condition is only one of the birth defects that have been linked to Paxil. Others include heart defects (Tetralogy of Fallot, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Interrupted Aortic Arch), Gastroschisis and brain defects (Hydrocephalus).

Lawsuits have been filed against the makers of SSRIs like Paxil because of the companies’ failure to properly alert doctors and the public of the potentially life-threatening birth defects that can occur when a pregnant woman takes the drug. With the right attorney, many of them will be won.