Cleft Lip and Topamax

Cleft lip Topamax birth defects may have resulted from side effects of Topamax use in pregnancy.  Contact an attorney to find out about Topamax lawsuits and class action suits.

New Topamax birth defect studies and FDA warnings indicate that infants born to women who take the anticonvulsant drug Topamax during pregnancy may have an increased risk of developing side effects like cleft lip birth defects. Topamax is one of the most commonly prescribed anticonvulsant drugs available in the U.S.; approximately 32.3 million topiramate (Topamax) prescriptions were dispensed between January 2007 and December 2010. Topamax has been on the market since 1996, when the FDA approved the drug for the treatment of epilepsy. In 2004, the drug was additionally indicated for the prevention of migraine headaches. Topamax is currently manufactured by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, a division of drug company Johnson & Johnson, and the drug works by inhibiting the firing of certain impulses in the brain that are responsible for causing seizure-related episodes.

Although Topamax has become increasingly popular in the treatment of epilepsy and migraine headaches, new research indicates that Topamax side effects may no longer be safe in the treatment of pregnant women or women of childbearing age. According to Topamax birth defect studies, women who take Topamax during pregnancy may be significantly more likely to give birth to children with one or more serious birth defects, including cleft lip. If you took Topamax while pregnant and your child was born with a cleft lip, cleft palate, or another side effect, contact a Topamax attorney, as your child may be entitled to lifetime care.

Cleft Lip Symptoms

Cleft lip is a congenital malformation affecting the development of a child's upper lip in utero. Birth defects like cleft lip occur due to a lack of tissue in the lip area as the structure is forming during the early stages of pregnancy, preventing the lip from closing completely. In children born with cleft lip, there is a vertical fissure in one or both sides of the upper lip, which may range from a small notch in the lip to a severe crevice extending up through the nose.

Cleft Lip Treatment and Complications

Treatment for cleft lip birth defects involves surgery to repair the malformation and restore the appearance and function of the child's upper lip. Without treatment, affected children may struggle with a number of debilitating side effects associated with the defect. Because of the separation between the nose and mouth, children with a cleft lip may struggle with significant feeding difficulties, which may require the use of a specially designed baby bottle. Children with cleft lip are also more prone to having fluid build up in their ears, which may lead to frequent ear infections and possibly even hearing loss. Other potential side effects of cleft lip include delays in speech and language development and dental issues like missing or malformed teeth.

Topamax and Cleft Lip Side Effect Studies

The FDA recently issued a safety announcement warning patients and healthcare professionals about the increased risk of cleft lip and cleft palate birth defects in children exposed to Topamax side effects during pregnancy. This FDA warning was issued following the release of new data collected by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, which indicated that infants whose mothers took Topamax while pregnant were twenty times more likely to develop oral cleft birth defects, compared to children whose mothers received no anticonvulsant treatment while pregnant. Another study published in the journal Neurology in 2008 determined that infants born to women who took Topamax during early pregnancy were eleven times more likely to develop cleft lip or cleft palate and fourteen times more likely to develop genital birth defects like hypospadias, compared to the expected rate among the general population.

Topamax During Pregnancy

The FDA recently elevated the pregnancy category of Topamax from C to D due to new information about the increased risk of birth defects among infants exposed to Topamax in utero. If you are currently taking Topamax 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 medication, as this may cause further harm to you or your unborn child. However, with your doctor's help, you may be able to find a safer way to treat your condition.

Topamax Attorneys for Cleft Lip Side Effects

The side effects associated with cleft lip birth defects are significant and can severely decrease an affected child's quality of life. If you or a loved one has suffered from a birth defect like cleft lip and you believe Topamax to be the cause, contact a Topamax attorney immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing a Topamax lawsuit against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical (Johnson & Johnson). You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug. With the help of an experienced Topamax lawyer, you can collect the compensation you deserve and protect yourself and your family from further harm.

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