Topamax, or topiramate, is associated with a variety of side effects. Fortunately, most of them are relatively minor. According to the manufacturer, Topamax is associated primarily with:
- numbness and tingling,
- taste changes,
- weight loss,
- and difficulty with concentration, attention and memory.
There are also reports of more serious symptoms, including:
- sudden decrease in vision,
- decreased sweating,
- suicidal thoughts or actions,
- hyperventilation (rapid, deep breathing),
- loss of appetite,
- irregular heartbeat, and changes in the level of alertness.
Probably the most serious side effect is that Topamax increases the risk of cleft lip and cleft palate in children whose mothers took Topamax while pregnant.
Topamax, or topiramate, is an anti-seizure drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. It is also prescribed to treat migraines and bi-polar disorder.
Topamax may also reduce the effectiveness of birth control. This is particularly worrisome because Topamax is known to increase the risk of birth defects in the first four weeks of pregnancy, when many women, particularly those taking birth control, do not realize they are pregnant.
Topamax use during the first trimester of pregnancy increases the risk of cleft lip, cleft palate, and other oral cleft defects by a factor of 21. Children with cleft palate and cleft lip have a malformation in the tissues that form the hard or soft palates of the face and mouth. Oral clefts may range in severity from a small slit in the upper lip, to a more serious gaping hole in the hard palate (or roof) of the mouth. Some forms of the condition require multiple surgeries to correct.
If you or a loved one used Topamax during pregnancy and have a child born with cleft lip, cleft palate or other birth defects, contact Lopez McHugh, LLP for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-703-7070.