While pregnant, women need to be especially careful about what foods and medications that they put into their bodies. Early in the first trimester, while many women are not even aware that they are pregnant, the baby is at a heightened risk for birth defects due to medications being ingested by their mother. Our birth defects attorneys have been writing for months about the drug Topamax and its connection to cleft lip and palate birth defects.
A recent study called Comparative Safety of Topiramate During Pregnancy, performed by researchers from Harvard University, MassGeneral Hospital for Children, and Loyola University in Chicago, has come to the conclusion that topiramate increases chances of birth defects. According to the study, women who take the active ingredient in the medication Topamax during their first trimester of pregnancy increase the risk of their children being born with major oral birth defects. The study analyzed statistics of 6,456 pregnant women and “compared the frequency of adverse pregnancy outcomes for those who had used topiramate during their first trimester to a control group.” The results were that the children whose mothers took topiramate were almost three times more likely to be born with a birth defect, 3.8 %, than the mothers who did not, 1.3 %.
If you are a pregnant and currently taking Topamax or any drug containing topiramate, speak with your doctor as soon as possible about other, safer options. If you are a parent who has recently given birth to a child who suffers from a birth defect that you believe can be attributed to a prescription drug, contact the Mininno Law Office to speak with birth defects lawyers and discuss your legal rights. You may also call for a free case evaluation and consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.
It is no secret that pregnant women have difficulty with medications, as many medicines and drugs can have extremely adverse effects on a fetus. Birth defects attorneys remind pregnant women to always check with their OB/GYN before taking any medications.
Because medicines can have such devastating effects on a pregnancy, a pregnant woman’s medicinal treatment is usually quite limited. For pregnant women suffering from epilepsy, that treatment is about to become even more limited.
Months ago, the Mininno Law Office blog posted about the anti-epileptic drug Topamax, which was shown to cause oral malformations, such as cleft lip or cleft palate, in newborns whose mothers took the drug during pregnancy. The FDA recently changed the drug’s classification from Class C, which is a drug that displayed adverse fetal effects during animal testing, to Class D, which is a classification for drugs that display “positive evidence of human fetal risk.” Now, a litany of other anti-epileptic drugs have been added to a list of drugs that are dangerous to fetuses.
Unfortunately, thanks to the competitive nature of Big Pharma, attorneys, consumer protection and/or patient advocacy groups, and private companies are the people releasing information about the dangers these drugs pose when taken during gestation; dangers as told by the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System.
AdverseEvents Inc. is a private company that analyzes the FDA’s adverse drug event database for use in the healthcare industry. AdverseEvents Inc. discovered that the following drugs had as many as 25 reports of birth defect related complications.
None of the above drugs have had classifications changes from the FDA, but for a few, it is only a matter of time.
If you are a pregnant and currently taking any of the aforementioned anti-epileptic drugs, speak with your doctor as soon as possible about other, safer options. If you are a parent who has recently given birth to a child who suffers from a birth defect that you believe can be attributed to one of the above prescription drugs, contact the Mininno Law Office to speak with birth defects attorneys and discuss your legal rights. You may also call for a free case evaluation and consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in December 2009, informed Health Care professionals about the increased risk of neural tube defects and other major birth defects associated with the use of Depakote during the first trimester of pregnancy. Doctors typically warn women who are looking to become pregnant of the correlation between Depakote and birth defects in the first trimester of pregnancy. They should also warn women who are not planning pregnancy but are sexually active of the risks. By the time these woman know they are pregnant, it may be too late to prevent the many birth defects that can occur as a result as Depakote use in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Depakote (Divalproex Sodium) is a drug marketed by Abbott Laboratories used to treat bipolar disorder, migraine headaches, and seizures associated with epilepsy. Side effects of Depakote that pertain to birth defects include Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect), craniosynostosis (abnormal skull development), cleft pallet, arterial septal defect (holes in the heart), and polydactyly (extra fingers or toes).
Spina Bifida is perhaps the most significant birth defect tied to Depakote use. It is a developmental birth defect caused by the incomplete closure of the embryonic neural tube. Spina bifida occurs when some of the vertebrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. Spina Bifida malformations fall into four categories: Spina Bifida occulta, Spina Bifida cystica (myelomeningocele), meningocele, and lipomenengocele. The most significant form of Spina Bifida is myelomeningocele, which leads to disability in most affected individuals.
According to the Spina Bifida Association, there are an estimated 2.7 million women of childbearing age that live in New Jersey. Approximately 1,710 people with Spina Bifida live in New Jersey and 1.97 babies are born with Spina Bifida per 10,000 births in New Jersey. The Spina Bifida Association said, “If women were to consume 400 micrograms of the B-vitamin folic acid every day before pregnancy, the risk of Spina Bifida and other serious birth defects could be reduced up to 70%.” If you need resources to learn more about Spina Bifida, there are four clinics in New Jersey located in Mountainside, Edison, Summit, and West Orange.
If you or a loved are dealing with the tribulations of a child with birth defects, and you believe those defects were caused by the negligence of another, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. Our team is eager and prepared to earn you the compensation you need and deserve. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.