Birth defects attorneys are often asked by their clients, “what caused my child’s cleft palate?” Unfortunately, there is little known about the actual cause of cleft lips and palates, but some information is known about certain contributing factors. A cleft (lip, palate, or both), which occurs in about 1 out of 700 babies born,is present where the palate does not fuse completely, meaning full development did not occur. Professionals know that there are a wide range of factors that can hinder development, like environmental factors, alcohol use, drug use, and genetics. Additionally, certain prescription medicines have been linked to an increase in the development of cleft lip/palates. So while there is no known exact cause for a cleft lip or palate, there certainly are contributing factors.
One Contributing Factor: Topamax (Topiramate)
One factor that contributes to the development of cleft lips and palates discussed above is prescription medicine. The drug Topamax, commonly used to treat migraine headaches and seizures, has been linked to increased incidents of cleft lips and palates. The FDA has recently announced its findings regarding the drug, and has downgraded it to Pregnancy Category D (meaning the drug has known pregnancy complications). There are legitimate uses for Topamax, but if it was taken prior to or during pregnancy it may be responsible for your child’s cleft lip or palate.
Birth Defects Attorneys of New Jersey and Philadelphia
If you or a loved one has taken Topamax during or prior to pregnancy and has given birth to a child with a cleft lip or palate you have legal options. Our experienced professionals are willing and able to secure your fair compensation for your child’s birth defect, which will surely make recovery easier. It is important to act quickly as there may be time restrictions on filing a claim. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation and consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.