WE ARE NO LONGER ACCEPTING SSRI-ANTIDEPRESSANT BIRTH DEFECT CASES
Topamax, is an anticonvulsant medication approved to treat patients with epilepsy who have certain types of seizures, and is also approved for use to prevent migraine headaches. However, the drug has been associated with an increased risk of major birth defects; research has found higher than expected rates of babies born with cleft lips and cleft palates.
According to information from the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry, 1.4% of infants exposed to Topamax during pregnancy developed a cleft palate or cleft lip, whereas only .38-.55% of infants exposed to other epilepsy drugs developed an oral birth defect. Furthermore, the risk of oral birth defects was much lower (.07%) among children born to mothers who were not taking epilepsy drugs, such as Topamax, during pregnancy.
Similarly, a 2008 study published in the medical journal Neurology found that a much higher-than-expected number of pregnant women treated with Topamax gave birth to babies with cleft lips, cleft palates, genital defects or other birth malformations. Although the study was small, only involving 178 babies, the rate of birth defects was 11 times higher than would be expected in the general population.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects which affect the upper lip and roof of the mouth. These birth defects develop when parts of the lip or palate do not fuse together during the first three months of pregnancy. The oral birth defects caused by Topomax can range from a small notch in the lip to a groove which extends into the roof of the mouth and nose. These types of facial birth defects often alter a child’s face, lead to difficulty eating and talking, ear infections, and emotional trauma. Treatment for cleft palate and cleft lips typically involves corrective surgery.
If your child is born with complications and you were prescribed Topamax during your pregnancy, contact us online or call 1-866-252-3535.