What Impact Do Topamax Birth Defects Have on Adolescents

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Topomax is marketed for several conditions including seizures, alcohol dependence and migraines. Weight loss is a common side effect (anorexia is a side effect also). It is prescribed for weight loss under the brand name Qsymia. Topomax is a drug with significant side effects which should be carefully weighed against the benefits. In many cases other drugs or therapies can be successful for weight loss or migraine relief. The FDA has increased warnings about Topomax recently and changed it a Category D for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

The website LawyersandSettlements.com wrote in a recent article, “The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has long since tagged topiramate as a potential threat to a developing fetus and has cautioned doctors to seriously consider the ramifications of prescribing Topamax for any reason to women of child-bearing age.” LawyersandSettlements.com reports on class action and similar drug related suits.

Cleft pallette and cleft lip are the most common side effects in a child exposed to Topomax in utero. The surgery to correct, assuming the family can afford it, can leave scars.

There are multiple law suits claiming birth defects occurred because pregnant women or women who became pregnant while on Topomax were not made aware of the risk to the fetus. The law suits are not only on behalf of children’s defects at birth, but to the continuing damage of scarring and the teen years.


Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block

Jonathan Block is an associate editor at BioCentury, which provides news and information about the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining BioCentury in 2019, Jonathan worked for MedShadow as content editor. He has been an editor and writer for multiple pharmaceutical, health and medical publications, including The Pink Sheet, Modern Healthcare, Health Plan Week and Psychiatry Advisor. He holds a BA from Tufts University and is earning an MPH with a focus on health policy from the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy.


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