Topamax Birth Defects

May 6, 2011 - 3 minutes read

Parenthood changes your thoughts and actions to revolve around the wellbeing of your child.  The parenting books, classes, and advice all try to prepare you, but in the end can the medication you take makes things worse?  If you’ve taken Topamax and are a considering pregnancy, consider the following to protect your future family.

The Food and Drug Administration has classified Topamax as a Pregnancy Category D pharmaceutical, which means that Topamax carries an increased risk of harm to fetuses.  The North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry reported that mothers who had taken the drug have a higher percentage of their fetuses developing defects within the first trimester.  Infants will often exhibit three types of Topamax birth defects: cleft lip, cleft palate, and genital malformations.

Cleft Lip

The cleft lip is a simplified medical term to describe an opening or gap in the lip.  There are three types of cleft lip: unilateral incomplete, unilateral and bilateral complete.  A unilateral incomplete is a slight indentation at the top of the lip.  While infants with a unilateral (one) or bilateral (two) complete have gaps that stretch to the nasal cavity.  These deformities are usually surgically fixed soon after birth or in early childhood.

Cleft Palate

The cleft palate often occurs in conjunction with a cleft lip.  When the two plates of the skull (soft and hard) do not completely fuse together, it reveals a gap in the roof of the mouth.  The cleft palate disrupts the connection to the nasal cavity.  Cleft palates cause speech impairments and trouble breathing.  As with the cleft lip, unilateral incomplete, unilateral complete, and bilateral complete are also used to describe the variations.  The placement of the gap increases the difficulty of surgical procedures and further treatment is necessary for speech and breathing development.

Genital Defects

The third Topamax birth defect affects male children exclusively.  Hypospadias describes the displaced location of the urethra.  In most cases, the urethra is located on underside of the male genitalia.  Other cases have indicated its location at the top, base, mid-shaft, and even in or behind the scrotum.  Doctors operate on the infant before 4 to 18 months of age to restore the natural position.

If you are considering pregnancy and are currently taking Topamax, consult your physician to determine the risks associated with your situation.  As a parent with a child with a Topamax birth defect, contact a knowledgeable Topamax attorney to review your case for legal action.