Tegretol Side Effects

Tegretol side effects and possible birth defects may lead to injury lawsuits being filed by patients. If you have been affected by the anticonvulsant drug, contact a Tegretol attorney to explore your compensation options.

Researchers have raised serious concerns about the safety of the anticonvulsant Tegretol, due to information suggesting the drug may result in the development of serious birth defects or side effects among patients. Tegretol was approved by the FDA in 1974 and is widely prescribed by physicians for conditions like neuropathic (nerve) pain, epilepsy, and the manic phase of bipolar disorder. Tegretol (carbamazepine) functions by inhibiting nerve impulses that cause seizures and pain, and is currently manufactured by drug company Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Despite the popularity of Tegretol however, the drug may no longer be considered safe, especially in the treatment of pregnant women. If you took the anticonvulsant Tegretol and have since suffered from a side effect, or if your child was born with a birth defect, contact a Tegretol attorney to discuss your legal options.

SJS and TEN Side Effects

Studies have linked the use of Tegretol to the development of two life-threatening skin conditions called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). Both SJS and TEN are severe disorders caused by an infection or an allergic reaction to certain pharmaceutical drugs. Patients with these conditions typically exhibit primary symptoms similar to the flu, progressing quickly to a red rash and blisters that cover the body, and eventually resulting in the top layer of skin dying and shedding from the body. The main difference between SJS and TEN is the percentage of skin involvement, with TEN being the more severe condition.

Potential Tegretol Birth Defects

An emerging body of research has indicated that children born to women who take Tegretol during pregnancy may have a significantly increased risk of suffering from major side effects. Among these potential Tegretol side effects are birth defects like:
  • Heart defects
  • Spina bifida
  • Developmental delay
  • Limb defects
  • Cleft lip
  • Cleft palate
  • Growth retardation
  • Skeletal defects
  • Hypospadias
  • Hypoplasia of the midface
  • Hypoplasia of the fingers

Tegretol Side Effect Studies and FDA Warnings

One of the most revealing Tegretol side effect studies was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2001. Researchers screened over 100,000 pregnant women from 1986 to 1993 and divided them into groups based on anticonvulsant use. Of the women who took only one anticonvulsant drug during pregnancy, 87 took Dilantin (phenytoin), 58 took Tegretol (carbamazepine) and six took Depakote (valproate), among others. According to the results of the study, 20.6% of infants exposed to one anticonvulsant during pregnancy developed major birth defects, compared to 28% of children exposed to two or more anticonvulsants, and 8.5% of unexposed children. Between the years 2003 and 2008, the Health Sciences Authority received 290 reports of drug-induced SJS and TEN, 53 of which were associated with carbamazepine (Tegretol). In 2007, the FDA issued a safety warning notifying patients and physicians about the risk of life-threatening skin reactions, like SJS and TEN, among patients taking Tegretol.

Tegretol Use in Pregnancy

The FDA has classified Tegretol as a pregnancy category D medication, which means there is positive human evidence indicating the drug may cause serious fetal harm when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Tegretol and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options. You should never suddenly stop taking a prescription drug without medical consent, but with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer way to treat your condition.

Tegretol Attorneys for Side Effects

Consumers expect their prescription drugs to effectively treat their medical condition without causing them any unnecessary harm. Unfortunately, there are some medications currently on the market that are associated with side effects so severe they may actually outweigh any possible benefits of the treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect which you believe to be linked to the use of the anticonvulsant Tegretol, contact a Tegretol attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a Tegretol lawsuit against Novartis Pharmaceuticals in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. By hiring a Tegretol lawyer to represent your case, you can collect the compensation you deserve and hold the allegedly negligent drug company liable for your injuries.

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