Newly Available Epilepsy Medications Lower the Risk of Birth Defects
A May 18, 2011, study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the newest epilepsy treatments are less likely to cause birth defects when taken during pregnancy. Although these findings are comforting to expectant mothers who suffer from epilepsy, one major shortfall of this study involves the highly controversial and widely popular drug, Topamax (topiramate). Although Danish researchers included topiramate as one of the drugs “not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects,” of the more than 800,000 live births studied, just over 100 women participating in the study were Topamax users. The majority of the women studied took Lamictal (lamotrigine), another anti-seizure drug. While the study clearly indicates that with careful and informed decision-making, epileptic women can have healthy babies, it is important to remember that fewer risks does not infer complete safety.
FDA Topamax Warning
Although the new generation of antiepileptic drugs clearly evidences that the medical community is making strides to combat epilepsy and its severe side effects, it is important to keep in mind that not all “new” drugs have the same risks and benefits, are equally safe, nor have they been equally tested. In March 2011, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a warning that Topamax increases the risk of oral cleft birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Therefore, the FDA advised that Topamax should not be given to pregnant women. Instead, the FDA recommended that pregnant women consider alternative epilepsy medications that do not carry the same risks to unborn children. Moreover, this latest study found that babies exposed to topiramate had a 44 percent greater chance of having a birth defect, while babies exposed to lamotrigine and oxcarbazepine were at a much lower risk.
How to File a Topamax Lawsuit?
If you took Topamax or topiramate during pregnancy, and your child has suffered birth defects, you may be eligible to file a Topamax lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries and reimbursement of your expenses. Contact one of our Topamax injury attorneys today for a free assessment of your potential Topamax lawsuit and find out if you are eligible for compensation. The lawyers at Bernstein Liebhard LLP have extensive litigation experience, and have recovered billions of dollars for their clients. In addition to being staunch advocates for your claim, our lawyers also provide personal attention to guide you through the complex litigation process.