For this reason, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised its position on Topamax and pregnancy by shifting the classification of Topamax from Pregnancy Category 'C' to a 'D.' The latter is a stronger warning and speaks to the potential for birth defects and other deformities that not only could severely impact the life of a child, but also drain the financial resources of a family faced with medical bills stemming from the needed surgical repair.
The concern, however, extends beyond Topamax birth defects to include the indications for Topamax. While prescribed to help quell epileptic seizures, the drug is also used to treat migraine headaches—a common complaint amongst an increasingly stressed North American population and beyond.
To that end, a young woman from Pakistan prescribed topiramate for migraines experienced sudden loss of vision, according to a report published in the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA).
Beyond Topamax side effects in children, one of the more rare adverse reactions associated with topiramate, are vision problems.
According to JPMA (10/31/12), the woman was 20 years old when she experienced sudden and acute vision loss—overnight—due to acute myopia. She had been prescribed topiramate (marketed as Hitop in Pakistan) for recurring migraines. The patient complained of bilateral vision loss together with swelling of the eyelids.
Prior to this incident, according to the report, the patient had no prior history of vision problems. While neuro imaging was advised by her general practitioner along with the use of anti-histamines, specialists determined such intervention was not necessary. The woman was instructed to use eye drops to combat the topiramate side effects, and she was advised to stop topiramate immediately.
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It is not known if the woman was pregnant at the time. The concern with a Topamax pregnancy, as it relates to the potential for birth defects, is that Topamax side effects in children can stem from the first trimester in a pregnancy.
That's when parts of the upper lip and palate normally fuse together. When this fusing does not occur properly, Topamax Cleft Palate can result. Many women are not even aware they are pregnant until after the first trimester.
By then it is too late, with a Topamax lawsuit the only recourse to pursue justice and compensation.