A commonly prescribed anticonvulsant, Topamax (generically known as topiramate) offers treatment to adults and children who suffer from seizures or migraine headaches. For seizure treatment, the drug is prescribed to patients who are at least two years old, and for migraines it is only prescribed to patients who are older than 12.
There are several associated complications and contraindications associated and patients are advised to let their doctors know if they have any of the following conditions prior to taking Topamax.
- Kidney problems (such as kidney stones, kidney disease or dialysis treatments)
- Eye problems such as glaucoma
- Breathing problems
- Liver disease
- Psychiatric problems such as depression or suicidal tendencies
- Bone problems such as osteoporosis
- Growth disorders
Meanwhile, talk to our lawyers to determine liability for your damages if you suffer harm related to this drug.
Topamax and Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, you need to speak with your doctor. If you already take Topamax for seizures, you may need to work on a plan with your physician possibly to wean you off of the drug, rather than risk having a seizure that could harm you and your baby.
Topamax has been linked to increased risk for birth defects and has received the D-level warning by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pregnancy. This warning is assigned to drugs for which there is evidence of risk to human fetuses, but there may be benefits of continuing use. Based on actual human studies or data, the D pregnancy warning is designed to warn pregnant users of the risks for health problems for the unborn baby. The main birth defect risk associated with Topamax is cleft lip and/or palate, but other risks also may exist.
Additional Side Effects of Topamax
Topamax may be linked to increased risk of suicidal thoughts or attempts, depression, hostile or aggressive behavior, mood problems such as irritability or agitation, panic attacks, anxiety, sleep problems, and vision problems.
Other serious side effects include memory problems, speech or balance problems, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, or loss of appetite. Topamax is also linked to the development of metabolic acidosis in some users, which can cause weak bones and kidney stones.
Less serious side effects can include nervousness, mild dizziness, numbness or tingling, or diarrhea. Patients using Topamax should discuss any side effects or concerns with their doctor prior to discontinuing use of the drug. Serious side effects may warrant immediate medical attention.
Lawsuits Involving Topamax
Several lawsuits have been filed against Janssen, the drug manufacturer that makes and markets this dangerous drug. Families have recovered millions of dollars in settlements for Topamax-related newborn birth defects. Although Janssen argued that the named birth defects (oral clefts) are a known congenital birth defect that could be unrelated, the juries agreed with plaintiffs that the manufacturer failed to inform the medical community properly about the reality of the birth defect risks of the drug.
There have been many other lawsuits filed nationwide. Talk to our lawyers at Gacovino & Lake about whether you have a valid case against the manufacturer or another party like a physician who improperly prescribed the drug.
Talk to our Lawyers at Gacovino, Lake & Associates
Patients affected by serious side effects or birth defects related to the use of this drug may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or other liable party. If you or your baby have been affected and suffered damages such as increased medical costs, lost time at work, or pain and suffering, you will need to open a claim to obtain reimbursement for your losses.
Our attorneys with experience working on defective drug cases can help you understand your rights and build a case for you against the responsible party. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help you through the process of securing a fair settlement for you and your family. Call us today at 800-550-0000 to set up a case review with our lawyers.