Hypospadias and Topamax

Hypospadias Topamax birth defects may result from Topamax side effects when used in pregnancy.  Lawsuits for gential defects are being filed and affected families should contact a Topamax attorney for help.

According to new Topamax side effect studies, fetal exposure to the anticonvulsant Topamax may be linked to the development of genital birth defects like hypospadias among children. Topamax has been available on the U.S. market since 1996, when the FDA approved the anticonvulsant for the treatment of epilepsy. In 2004, Topamax was additionally indicated for the prevention of migraine headaches. Topamax (topiramate) works by inhibiting the firing of certain impulses in the brain responsible for causing seizure-related episodes. Topamax is currently manufactured by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, a division of drug giant Johnson & Johnson.

Since its introduction, Topamax has become one of the most frequently prescribed anticonvulsant drugs on the U.S. market. Unfortunately, new Topamax side effect information suggests that Topamax may no longer be safe in the treatment of pregnant women and women of childbearing age. Researchers have indicated that infants born to women who take Topamax while pregnant may have a significantly increased risk of developing major birth defects like hypospadias. If you took Topamax while pregnant and your child was born with a severe side effect or birth defect, contact a Topamax attorney, as your child may be entitled to lifetime care.

Hypospadias Symptoms

Hypospadias is a genital birth defect involving the malformation of a male infant's genitals during fetal development. In children with hypospadias, the opening of the urethra is located on the underside of the penis rather than at the end. In less severe cases, the opening may be located near the tip of the penis, while more serious instances are characterized by an opening located at the mid-shaft or base of the penis, or even in or behind the scrotum. Other symptoms of hypospadias include a curvature of the penis, a malformed foreskin making the penis look hooded, and difficulties during urination.

Hypospadias Treatment and Complications

Hypospadias treatment involves reconstructive surgery to repair the malformation and prevent further complications. During surgery, which is typically performed before the child is 18 months old, the penis is straightened and the defect is corrected using tissue grafts from the child's foreskin. Without treatment, children with hypospadias may suffer from complications in the future, including problems during toilet training and sexual intercourse later in life.

Topamax and Side Effect Studies

In 2008, the journal Neurology published a study in which researchers found that infants exposed to Topamax in utero were fourteen times more likely to develop genital defects like hypospadias, and eleven times more likely to develop birth defects like cleft lip and cleft palate, compared to the expected rate among the general population. Earlier this year, the FDA issued a safety announcement warning patients and physicians about the increased risk of oral cleft birth defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate in children whose mothers took Topamax during pregnancy. This FDA warning was based on new Topamax side effect information collected by the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry. This data indicated that infants born to women who took Topamax while pregnant were twenty times more likely to develop side effects like cleft lip and cleft palate, compared to infants whose mothers took no anticonvulsant drugs while pregnant.

Topamax Use in Pregnancy

The FDA recently elevated the pregnancy category of Topamax from C to D, which means there is positive human evidence of the drug's ability to cause serious harm to a fetus when taken during pregnancy. If you are currently taking Topamax and you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, consult your healthcare provider to discuss alternative treatment options. It may be dangerous to suddenly discontinue use of a prescription drug, 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 way to treat your condition.

Topamax Attorneys for Hypospadias Side Effects

All children have the right to live a happy and healthy life. Unfortunately, children born with birth defects like hypospadias are often robbed of this right, sometimes subjected to multiple surgeries and treatments throughout their lives. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect or hypospadias birth defect, which you believe to be linked to use of Topamax, contact a Topamax attorney to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a Topamax lawsuit against Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical (Johnson & Johnson) in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. Drug companies are expected to produce and distribute safe medications, and should be held liable for any injuries sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, some pharmaceutical companies intentionally conceal the more serious side effects of their medications in an attempt to make their product more appealing to the public. By hiring an experienced Topamax lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and bring public attention to the potentially harmful nature of the anticonvulsant Topamax.

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