Do you know of anyone who used Topamax while pregnant and their infant suffered oral cleft birth defects defect? We are looking for guest bloggers who would like to share their stories. Please contact kayrocks@gmail.com if you would be interested in a guest posting.

Topamax (topiramate) is an anticonvulsant drug that is also approved by the FDA to prevent migraines. It was first marketed in 1996 by subsidiaries of Johnson & Johnson for its treatment of certain types of seizures. In 2010, Johnson & Johnson lost a lawsuit, which required them to pay $81 million for illegally promoting Topamax for psychiatric uses, including the treatment of bipolar disorder. Topamax is not FDA-approved for any psychiatric uses.

Topiramate was shown early on to have teratogenic (defects in the development) effects in the offspring of animals. In 2008, the first study was conducted linking Topamax to a risk of oral cleft birth defects. The study used only a small group of epilepsy patients, but it served to stimulate further research.

The chance of having this birth defect is 1 out of 2,500 people.

Topamax is nearly 4 times more likely to cause cleft lip or cleft palate (oral clefts) in the children of women who take it while pregnant.

These birth defects take place in the first trimester of pregnancy, often before the woman knows she is pregnant. This makes Topamax especially dangerous. The FDA recommends that women who are of childbearing age should use a birth control if they plan to take Topamax.

Cleft lip and cleft palate, which can occur together, are caused when the lips or palate don’t fuse together properly, leaving an opening or a gap in the face. Oral cleft is a result of abnormal development in the first trimester, sometimes due to dangerous drugs.

If your infant suffered oral cleft birth defects that may have been caused by Topamax we have learned you may be able to collect compensation. We have a friend who can assist you with a claim.