What is Topamax?
Did you use Topamax during your pregnancy? Was your child born with any sort of birth defect? Are you currently pregnant and taking this drug? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you have come to the right place. Here you will find valuable information on the drug, including:
- Topamax side effects
- Filing a Topamax lawsuit
- Hiring a Topamax lawyer
- And more
Topamax is a drug produced by Ortho-McNeil Janseen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and can be found in the generic form under the name “topirimate.” On December 24, 1996, the FDA put its stamp of approval on Topamax as a drug to help treat seizures resulting from epilepsy. Nearly a decade later, the drug was also approved as a means of migraine headache management. Along the way, the drug was increasingly prescribed to women during pregnancy. After all, during this special time in a woman’s life, the last thing she wants to do is deal with seizures or migraines. And Topamax did not seem to pose a significant risk to unborn children.
Studies Performed on Topamax
As Topamax became more popular, unbeknownst to most Topamax users, various groups began controlled studies to try and link the drug to fetal malformation. The most pertinent studies were:
- Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) — Spanning 12 years, JAMA began their study in 1996, before Topamax was even approved by the FDA. The study focused on over 800,000 infants. Out of approximately 1,500 who were exposed to Topamax and similar drugs, 49 ended up with severe birth defects.
- “Topiramate in Pregnancy: Preliminary Experience from the UK Epilepsy and Pregnancy Register” — A smaller study performed in the United Kingdom, this study focused on the generic form of the drug, known as topiramate. The results concluded that it can be expected for approximately 5 percent of babies who were exposed to the drug during the gestation period to end up with a severe birth defect.
- “Pregnancy Outcomes in Topiramate-treated Women” — Published in 2006 in the journal entitled Epilepsia, this study states that 7 out of 78 pregnant women who took the drug gave birth to a child with a major malformation. That is nearly 10 percent.
The Dangers of Topamax Usage during Pregnancy Are Real
The evidence is overwhelming. Based on the above studies and more, it is clear that using Topamax during pregnancy increases the risk of giving birth to a child with severe birth defects. But what sort of birth defects are Topamax users’ newborns being subjected to?
Two of most common are:
- Cleft lip/palate — People often think of a cleft lip or cleft palate as a fixable physical deformity. But the truth is, it’s often much more than that. In reality, a cleft lip can cause problems with nearly all of your senses. It can negatively affect your ability to eat, speak, and hear. And as you may imagine, it can lead to serious psychological issues as well. As a result, those affected by this malformation may require cosmetic surgery, psychological therapy, speech therapy, and more.
- Hypospadias — This genital malformation is a male-specific condition in which the opening of the urethra is improperly located. This can cause all sorts of issues for your child, including malformed foreskin, deformation, needing to sit when urinating, and trouble directing the flow of urine. And if left untreated, your son will likely have trouble potty training and eventually end up experiencing sexual difficulties as he becomes an adult.
Luckily, there is some good news for you if this condition is affecting your child. It’s usually treatable. It takes a series of surgeries, typically beginning before the age of 2. However, this will certainly affect you financially, not to mention emotionally. To help in these areas, you can hire a Topamax lawyer.
Keep in mind, these are not the only birth defects that have been linked to Topmax. Other fetal and skeletal malformations are possible. And researchers are still studying to find if any other problems can be associated with using the drug during pregnancy. With that in mind, if your child has suffered any sort of birth defect and you took Topamax while pregnant, you may have grounds for filing a Topamax lawsuit.
Has Topamax Been Recalled?
Believe it or not, at this point Topamax has not been recalled. This raises the obvious question: why not? While there is no answer readily available, the FDA has issued a new warning for the drug. Early in March of 2011, they raised the pregnancy risk rating for Topamax from category C to category D. This is their way of warning users that usage of the drug during pregnancy can present a real risk to the unborn. The FDA has also been quoted as saying that safer alternatives to the drug do exist.
You Can Benefit from Hiring a Topamax Lawyer
If you think you may need to file a Topamax lawsuit, you are currently experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. You are stressed because you are not sure where to turn. You may feel guilty for taking the drug, even though you had no way of knowing its dangers. You are anxious as to how this is all going to affect your financial situation. And you are certainly worried about how this is all affecting your child.
But there is hope. A Topamax recall attorney from the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm can help. Here’s what we can do for you:
- Offer you a free consultation — Perhaps you are unsure if you even have a legitimate claim and you are scared of wasting money hiring a Topamax recall lawyer. We understand. That is why we offer you a free, no obligation consultation in which we can determine if you actually have a case. If we think you do, we can move forward. If for some reason we do not think we can help you, we will be honest and let you know. And it will not cost you a dime.
- Ease your concerns — We know you are in a tough spot. And we feel for you. Let us ease your concerns. We will let you know your rights and hopefully set your mind at ease. Once we take the reins of your Topamax lawsuit, you can take a deep breath and know that we are going to handle all the details.
- Provide aggressive representation — We approach each and every case with the same intensity. And while we know from experience that the majority of cases will be settled before ever seeing the light of a courtroom, we prepare as if we are going to fight all the way through. The result? The opposing party will know we mean business and will be more likely to take you seriously.
We know this is not all about money for you. Your primary concern is the health of your child. And when you hire a Topamax lawyer from the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm, we will help you obtain the compensation necessary to pay for your child’s corrective surgery and any necessary treatment.