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Judge Reconsiders Ban Against Paxil Ads
Company Argues Antidepressant Non-Habit-Forming

POSTED: 10:14 a.m. EDT October 11, 2002

A Los Angeles federal judge has cleared the way for the makers of the antidepressant drug Paxil to include language in ads that the drug is non-habit-forming.

PaxilJudge Mariana Pfaelzer initially banned the language in August in a decision growing out of a civil lawsuit.

But Pfaelzer reconsidered the ruling after lawyers for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration argued that it had approved the commercials in advance after examining the effects of Paxil.

"We are pleased that the judge has reviewed additional scientific evidence and the expert opinion presented by the Food and Drug Administration," said David Stout, president of U.S. Pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline. "Experts including the FDA and leading physician and mental health organizations agree that antidepressant medications like Paxil are non-habit-forming."

The ruling for Paxil maker GlaxoSmithKline comes about a year after a civil lawsuit was filed on behalf of 35 patients who claimed they suffered withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, fever and "electric zaps" to their bodies.

Paxil is often prescribed for depression and major anxiety disorders.

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