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Topamax Attorney Nicole Maldonado: "These Families Have Suffered"

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Los Angeles, CAAlthough the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter concerning possible Topamax side effects, there may still be some moms whose infants suffered from reported Topamax birth defects but do not know about the warning. That warning involves the link between Topamax and pregnancy, and suggests that infants exposed to Topamax early in pregnancy are at increased risk of birth defects. Nicole Maldonado, attorney with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, discusses the FDA's warning about Topamax, and what it means for moms.

"The FDA sent out a warning letter back in March, changing Topamax's category from Pregnancy Category C to Pregnancy Category D," Maldonado says. "What that means is that with a category C, there are no adequate studies in humans [that show a link between the drug and birth defects]. When it goes to category D, it means they do have controlled studies involving humans that show a risk of birth defects. So it is a big deal when they change a drug from category C to category D."

The change in category was announced after the FDA reviewed data obtained from the North American Antiepileptic Drug (AED) Pregnancy Registry, which suggested an increased risk of cleft lip and cleft palate in infants who were exposed to Topamax during the early stages of pregnancy. According to data obtained from the registry, infants exposed to topiramate (the generic equivalent of Topamax) during the first trimester experienced a 1.4 percent prevalence of oral clefts, compared with infants who were not exposed to any antiepileptic medications showing a 0.07 percent prevalence of oral clefts.

Although oral clefts can often be treated with surgery, families who have infants with oral clefts—which include cleft lip and/or cleft palate—are still advised to contact an attorney to discuss their legal options.

"Even if their child is fine now, there are factors to consider, such as unnecessary pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses, things insurance doesn't cover, and trauma," Maldonado says. "These families have suffered. Sometimes, a cleft palate or cleft lip requires multiple surgeries. These families deserve to be compensated."

Mothers who took Topamax while pregnant and gave birth to an infant with cleft lip or cleft palate are advised to speak with an attorney as soon as possible to determine their legal options.

"The biggest and most important thing to do is get this information to moms," Maldonado says. "Sometimes, the FDA mandates that the label be changed, but the doctors don't read their mail/emails, so the moms don't hear about the warning. We want to get this information to the moms."

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READER COMMENTS

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This article is recruiting lawsuits. The direct links are not sited, nor the family history, or genetic history of the patient. Poor study techniques are evident. Thank You TG

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