Paxil (paroxetine), produced by Glaxo-Smith-Kline, is an antidepressant medication, classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It is commonly prescribed for conditions including depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
Following some high profile incidents of violent behavior, concerns emerged that the use of Paxil can cause suicidal behavior and violent conduct in children and teenagers. Following study of these claims the FDA found cause to warn of possible suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and teenagers, and to conclude that the benefits of Paxil are no better than a placebo for children and adolescents in the treatment of major depressive disorders.
In late 2004, Glaxo agreed to pay the State of New York a $2.5 million fine to settle a claim that it had engaged in deceptive marketing practices by withholding evidence that Paxil is ineffective in children and can increase risk of suicidal thoughts.
In 1998 Glaxo lost a trial in which it was alleged that Paxil use caused a man to kill his wife, daughter, granddaughter and himself, resulting in an $8 million verdict for the plaintiffs. While an appeal was pending, Glaxo subsequently entered into a confidential settlement of the case.
Although questions of causation remain unclear, some law firms are recruiting clients who claim to have suffered injury as a result of Paxil use during childhood or adolescence.