We’re told right off the bat that the fact here will disturb us. Right away, the design interests me. It looks like embossed lettering on parchment paper, for the most part. It’s peach. It’s tone-on-tone. Nothing really stands out.
They tell us what Paxil is used to treat. The words “Paxil is prescribed to treat…” are darker than any other words in this quadrant of the infographic, so it draws the eye below the first paragraph, which gives a short history of the drug and tells us it’s an SSRI antidepressant. Your eyes jump back over to the “Paxil is prescribed to treat” section and you see that it is prescribed for major depression, OCD, PTSD, Panic disorder, Social anxiety disorder, Generalized anxiety disorder, and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
Paxil was the 5th-most prescribed antidepressant in the US in 2006 and 2007. Again, in this section the information is mostly tone-on-tone and very subtle, but the most prominent thing is the graphic – of a pill bottle and a prescription pad. Paxil apparently ranked 194th in the list of bestselling drugs, and over 19.7 million Paxil prescriptions have been written. In 2007 Paxil brought in $1 billion in sales, and in 2009 it brought in $793 million.
Common Adverse Side Effects
A list of side effects caused by Paxil are then compared with the relative effects of a placebo. In every case, the Paxil had more of an instance of the side effect than the placebo, though the numbers for both were, in each case, less than 25% for each except nausea, a common side effect with many medications. A light graphic to the side states that up to 8% of psychiatric patients treated with Paxil (or, rather, the main ingredient paroxetine) experience mania or hypomania – s0mething they say is a serious side effect, but they don’t tell you what it is. I guess most people know.
Side Effects and Birth Defects
The drug safety info from the FDA is quoted as saying that PAXIL CR can harm an unborn baby. The list of possible side effects and birth defects is enough to make any future mother cringe.
So far, there have been about 1000 lawsuits filed against GlaxoSmithKline because of birth defects. As early as July 2010, the company agreed to pay $1 to settle 800 birth defect lawsuit. Each family who filed a suit received about $1.2 million. Does that mean GlaxoSmithKline is done paying? What will happen to the families still impacted by this?
I don’t love the tone-on-tone idea, but it is original, and it makes the images stand out, which I guess is a good thing.
Disturbing facts, for sure, but presented well and thorough.