Topamax® (Topiramate) is a prescription drug used to treat epileptic seizures and migraines. In addition, it is prescribed by doctors in an off-label manner for patients who would like to lose weight.
It’s estimated that there are more than 30 million Americans who suffer from regular migraines, as well as 2.3 million who live with epilepsy. While this drug has proved its usefulness over the years, it has had a sketchy history, especially when used by pregnant women.
Many women who took Topamax when pregnant were shocked to discover that their children were born with developmental defects that, in some cases, result in lifelong disabilities.
Serious Side Effects and Birth Defects
Here are some of the most-common birth defects that have been blamed on Topamax consumption during pregnancy:
- Cleft lip
- Cleft palate
- Hypospadias, a genital defect
- Heart defects
- Other oral defects
While these defects are sometimes to be expected in any sample population, it has been shown that women who took Topamax during pregnancy were up to 11 times more-likely to give birth to children with developmental defects.
The makers of Topamax (Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson) knew about the potential of these drugs to cause serious side effects, but did not adequately warn consumers that it may affect them or their children in such an adverse manner.
FDA Puts Out Warning
The FDA has raised the risk level of Topamax from a class C to class D drug. In addition, they have advised doctors not to prescribe this medication to pregnant women unless there are no other viable and safer alternatives.
Given the fact that the makers of Topamax failed to adequately warn patients about the potential birth defect complications their drug might cause, one can say that they acted in a negligent manner.
Families whose children have suffered adverse side effects are encouraged to discuss their potential personal injury claims with a product liability lawyer who has experience with drug injury cases.
If you would like to speak with an attorney about your situation right now, for free, call 1-877-659-2580.