Tegretol and Growth Retardation Side Effects

Alleged Tegretol side effects like growth retardation may lead to injury lawsuits being filed by patients. If you have been adversely affected by the anticonvulsant, consult a Tegretol attorney today.

Researchers have identified Tegretol use in pregnancy as a potential risk factor for the development of major birth defects among children, including growth retardation. Tegretol is an anticonvulsant drug which was approved by the FDA in 1974. Since its introduction, Tegretol (carbamazepine) has been approved for the treatment of epilepsy, neuropathic (nerve) pain, and the manic phase of bipolar disorder. Tegretol is currently manufactured by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, and functions by interfering with nerve impulses that cause pain and seizures. Despite the fact that Tegretol has become one of the most widely prescribed anticonvulsant drugs available, an emerging body of research has raised doubts about the safety of the drug, especially in treating pregnant women. According to these studies, women who take Tegretol while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of giving birth to children with life-altering side effects, including growth retardation. If you took Tegretol while pregnant and your child has suffered from growth retardation, contact a Tegretol attorney to discuss your options for legal recourse.

Growth Retardation Symptoms

Children suffering from growth retardation are born at or below the tenth percentile in weight for their gestational age. This means that these children are smaller than 90% of other children their same gestational age. When a child is diagnosed with growth retardation, it is classified as symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical growth retardation occurs when the child experiences poor growth of the head, abdomen and long bones, while asymmetrical growth retardation describes the normal growth of the head and long bones but abnormal growth of the abdomen. Children suffering from growth retardation may experience other serious complications, including abnormal neurological development, decreased cognitive development, and an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Tegretol Side Effect Studies

In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study in which researchers screened over 100,000 pregnancies between 1986 and 1993, and divided the women into groups based on their anticonvulsant use during pregnancy. Of the women who took only one anticonvulsant drug while pregnant, 87 took Dilantin, 58 took Tegretol and six took Depakote, among others. According to the results, 20.6% of children exposed to one anticonvulsant in utero were born with major birth defects, compared to 28% of children exposed to two or more, and only 8.5% of unexposed children. Furthermore, 13.8% of infants whose mothers took only Tegretol while pregnant were born with severe birth defects, including growth retardation, hypoplasia of the fingers and midface, and spina bifida. The British Medical Journal published a study in 2010 in which researchers sought to examine the adverse effects of fetal exposure to Tegretol. Researchers reviewed eight cohort studies involving 2,680 women who took Tegretol while pregnant, indicating that 3.3% of infants exposed to the drug in the first trimester were born with serious birth defects.

Tegretol and Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Tegretol as a pregnancy category D medication, which means there is positive human evidence of its potential to cause severe fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Tegretol and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare professional to discuss your treatment options. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, as this may cause further harm to you or your child. However, with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer alternative to Tegretol for treating your medical condition.

Tegretol Attorneys and Growth Retardation Side Effects

Growth retardation is a serious side effect which can have long-term neurological and cognitive consequences for affected children. If you or a loved one has suffered from growth retardation, which you believe to be linked to Tegretol, contact a Tegretol attorney to discuss your compensation options. You may have grounds to file a Tegretol lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical cost of treating your injuries, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Consumers expect their prescription medications to effectively treat their condition without causing them any unnecessary harm. Unfortunately, there are some drugs currently on the market that are associated with side effects so severe they may actually outweigh any possible benefits of the treatment. It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical companies to produce safe and effective drugs, and they should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Contact a qualified Tegretol lawyer today and you can feel confident that your case is in good hands.

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