Paxil linked to cleft lip

Paxil linked to Cleft Lip
September 8, 2006. By Jane Mundy digg
Neosho, Missouri: “I took Paxil when I was pregnant,” says Amee Stauffer. Isabel was born with a cleft lip and had surgery when she was two months old. “Now she is four and kids are already laughing at her.”

“Isabel is going to need more surgery as she gets older and major orthodontics – she has several teeth missing and will need implants. She had surgery to repair the top lip and the plastic surgeon said we have to leave the bottom lip until she is older, so that means it is going to grow.

I read about Paxil and the link to birth defects earlier this year and we thought that Paxil might be the reason for her cleft lip; this is usually genetic and there is no history of cleft palate or cleft lip on either side of our families. Isabel also has deformity on her lower lip that her pediatrician and her plastic surgeon said they have never seen anything like it – it looks like a cleft almost formed on her lower lip.

I did some research about Paxil and mostly found information about heart defects. Then I found that Paxil was also related to birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate. I don’t have any idea why this happened to Isabel. So far I haven’t talked to her doctor about any correlation between her birth defects and Paxil. He told me that it was OK to take Paxil while I was pregnant and that it would be better to take it rather than be anxious or depressed – my mental state would outweigh any possible side effects, otherwise I would never have taken it. This is so frustrating and I feel responsible because I chose to take Paxil. But I was also told by my doctor that it was better to take it. Of course I wish I never took it, nobody wants their kids to have to deal with stuff like this.

It really hurts me when Isabel gets laughed at. Most kids are her friends but new friends say to her ‘What is the matter with your mouth,’ and she gets upset. Isabel doesn’t see anything wrong with it, but as she gets older it is going to be a big problem. This worries me, it weighs heavily, especially being a girl and having a birth defect on her face. Now that I know it could have been Paxil, it makes me mad but also helps explain why this happened. I wonder how many other parents out there don’t know that Paxil may have caused birth defects like cleft lip?


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