The epilepsy drug Topamax (topiramate) and its generic versions can increase the risk of oral birth defects (cleft lip and cleft palate), warns the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Data compiled by the North American Antiepileptic Drug (AED) Pregnancy Registry, shows a greater risk of oral clefts in infants exposed to Topamax and generic versions, during the first trimester. Infants exposed to this drug as a single therapy had a 1.4 percent rate of mouth defects, which is three times more than seen with other antiepileptic drugs.
The agency has raised the drug’s pregnancy category from C to D, which means there is evidence the drug can harm a human fetus, but there are situations where the drug’s benefits to the mother could outweigh its risks.
The patient medication guide and prescribing information for Topamax and generic topiramate will be updated with the new information.
The FDA approved Topamax for the treatment of seizures and migraine headaches; however, the drug is also prescribed to teat other ailments through off-label prescriptions.
The FDA suggests that women who become pregnant while taking Topamax should take to their doctor about registering with the North American Antiepileptic Drug (AED) Pregnancy Registry, a group that collects information about the outcomes of infants born to women treated with this class of drugs during their pregnancy.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer again in 2019, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys and a Top 100 Lawyer in Georgia by the National Trial Lawyers in 2019.