Eliot Spitzer’s office is suing GlaxoSmithKline Plc over claims the drug giant withheld negative information about its antidepressant drug Paxil.

The lawsuit claims that Glaxo’s actions prevented doctors from exercising proper judgment in deciding whether to prescribe Paxil for children.

Paxil, which is marketed under the name Seroxat in Britain. last year had worldwide sales of $3.4 billion, though sales are declining rapidly amid competition from generic rivals.

The lawsuit claims that starting in 1998, Glaxo misrepresented data about Paxil’s safety and effectiveness in patients under age 18 and suppressed the results of clinical studies that failed to show the drug worked and may even have suggested an increased risk of suicide.

The suit claims Glaxo conducted at least five studies on the use of Paxil in children and adolescents but published only one, which had mixed results.

Spitzer, who filed the suit in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, demands Glaxo give up all profits from the sale of Paxil in New York for treating depression in children and teens. The suit also seeks unspecified damages for affected consumers.

Glaxo denied the allegations. Spokeswoman Mary Ann Rhyne said the company disseminated information about all its trials either in medical journals or at public scientific meetings as well as to regulatory agencies.

Glaxo’s shares fell 2.9 percent on the London Stock Exchange and fell 3.4 percent on the New York Stock Exchange.

Paxil, which is approved in the United States only for adults but which doctors may choose to prescribe for children, has been the subject of controversy in both the United States and Britain.

U.S. and UK regulators last summer issued separate warnings that Paxil should not be taken by patients under the age of 18 because of a possible increased risk of suicidal behavior.

The lawsuit claims that Glaxo’s actions prevented doctors from exercising proper judgment

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