As South Florida personal injury attorneys, we were interested to learn that the FDA is warning that use of seizure and migraine drug Topamax (topiramate) as well as its generic versions during pregnancy increases the risk of certain birth defects, according to a recent study.

“Health care professionals should carefully consider the benefits and risks of topiramate when prescribing it to women of childbearing age,” said Russell Katz, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “Alternative medications that have a lower risk of birth defects should be considered.”

Data from the North American Antiepileptic Drug (AED) Pregnancy Registry suggest that topiramate – prescribed to treat seizures in people who have epilepsy and prevent migraine headaches – increases the risk of cleft lip and cleft palate defects in babies whose mothers take the drug during pregnancy.

The AED data shows that infants exposed to topiramate as a single therapy experienced a 1.4 percent prevalence of oral clefts, almost four times that of infants exposed to other antiepileptic drugs. The Topamax defects “range from a small notch in the lip to a groove that runs into the roof of the mouth and nose, possibly leading to problems with eating, talking and to ear infections. Surgery often is performed to close the lip and palate and most children do well after treatment,” according to the FDA.

The FDA warns that pregnant women and those of childbearing potential should discuss other treatment options with their health care professional before starting Topamax or generic equivalents.

If you or your child were injured by an unwanted or unknown side effect of a prescription drug, call the Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at Anidjar & Levine for a free consultation. Our lawyers can speak with you about whether you might be entitled to compensation for your injury. You can reach our Florida offices at 800-747-3733 or submit an on-line form to contact us today.

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