According to a warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration, women who use the drug Topamax during the first trimester of pregnancy are 21 times more likely to give birth to a child with a cleft lip.
Cleft lips—as well as other oral cleft defects, such as a cleft palate—are caused by the failure of tissues between the nose and upper jaw to fuse during the first months of pregnancy. Children who are born with a cleft lip often also suffer from a cleft palate as well.
Because cleft lips occur early in pregnancy, the FDA has advised women of childbearing age to talk with their doctors about the side effects of using Topamax while pregnant. In some cases, continuing to use Topamax even before a women knows she is pregnant can cause a cleft lip to develop.
In most cases, cleft lips can be treated with surgery. However, they may still cause problems eating or speaking in children who are born with this type of birth defect.
If you or a loved one gave birth to a child with a cleft lip or other birth defects and used Topamax while pregnant, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. For a free legal consultation about your case, contact the Topamax lawyers at Hissey Kientz, LLP by calling toll-free at 1-866-275-4454, or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.